Davao City, Philippines—Davao City is recognized as one of the most successful and pioneering smoke–free initiatives in the ASEAN. It provides a leading example of a city that has effectively implemented a smoke–free legislation and has significantly reduced the extent that its residents and those visiting the city are exposed to secondhand smoke. As Davao celebrates its 10th year as a successful model for a smoke–free City, more than 40 cities, municipalities, provinces in the Philippines have emulated this laudable initiative, established their smoke–free ordinances, and are well on their way to becoming the next smoke–free city in the Philippines.
The campaign for a smoke–free Davao City, started 10 years ago by then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Davao’s campaign has demonstrated that strong political leadership, proper coordination, multi-sectoral effort, large scale information dissemination, and topped by a committed task force will make for a successful smoke–free city campaign.
“Davao is fortunate to have government leaders who prioritize the health of the people and have the political will to support and enforce a comprehensive and stringent anti-smoking ordinance. The city has come a long way, and are proud that their efforts have reaped numerous awards such as the Global Smoke–free Partnership (GSP) Award to a Governmental Body for exceptional leadership and commitment to further smoke–free policies, a three-time Red Orchid Awardee by the Department of Health of the Philippines with stringent indicators for a tobacco-free environment, and they have also received recognition from the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA),” said Dr. Domilyn Villarreiz, SEATCA Framework Convention on Tobacco Control(FCTC) Programme Manager.
SEATCA Director Bungon Ritthiphakdee said “Davao City is consistent in the implementation and enforcement of its smoke–free policies, and deserves all the accolades and recognition.” Other cities in the Southeast Asian region have learned much from Davao City’s experience. In the ASEAN many governments are trying to follow their example and hopes to become a model smoke–free place. Smoke-free world heritage sites and cities are now established in Malacca, Malaysia, Luang Prabang, Laos, Sukhothai, Thailand, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and Halong, Vietnam.
Over a span of ten years, the Smoke–free Davao City – launched on World No Tobacco Day (May 31st) covers educational facilities, healthcare facilities, government offices, workplaces, public transportation and terminals, hotels, restaurants and bars, parks and playgrounds, police stations, and prison facilities.
The 10-year story, lessons and formula for Davao’s success has been documented in the booklet “Your Guide to a Smoke–free City: Lessons learned from Davao City, Philippines”.
Soft copies can be downloaded at the SEATCA Tobacco Control Resource Center: https://seatca.org/dmdocuments/SF-DAVAO-booklet-CTP.pdf