GOV’T AGENCIES SUPPORT DEPED PROGRAMS TO KEEP SCHOOLS SMOKE-FREE
VARIOUS government agencies and local government units expressed their full support to the Department of Education's program to keep schools and communities smoke-free.
VARIOUS government agencies and local government units expressed their full support to the Department of Education’s program to keep schools and communities smoke-free.
DEPED, together with the Department of Health, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and Health Justice Philippines conducted a dialogue with local government units on how they can sustain the implementation of these smoke-free environment programs.
“I hope that through this forum, DepEd, DILG, and DOH can commit to complement our resources and prioritize to issue a joint memorandum circular as soon as possible that will further expound on this need to institutionalize supportive health policies, particularly to strengthen and unify our efforts on tobacco control, especially in our schools,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said.
Briones believes that the forum presented the department an opportunity to work hand in hand again with partner agencies in making sure that every school is truly smoke-free.
“As far as our policy is concerned, our schools have always been smoke-free. Since 2016, the DepEd has institutionalized a comprehensive tobacco control policy that prohibits smoking near schools and among our learners,” she said.
The DepEd designated Tobacco Control Coordinators in region and division offices and briefed tobacco intervention providers about the programs and how to deliver services for the learners.
“We have long integrated key tobacco control concepts in our curriculum, while we have also regularly conducted and participated in various co-curricular activities to increase awareness among our learners about the ill-effects of tobacco use,” Briones said.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that working with the local government units will “create a healthy Pilipinas where all Filipinos, especially the youth, are protected from the harms of tobacco, vapes, heated tobacco products, and other novel tobacco products, more so in times of health crisis.”