Phils:Civil Society Groups Launch Anti-Tobacco Video Contest

10 May 12. Metro Manila, Philippines. All over the world, an astounding 6 million people die every year because of tobacco-related causes. In the Philippines alone, 240 Filipinos families lose a member every day because of this lethal addiction. Despite the rising trend of mapping an end game for tobacco in other countries due to its damages, the Philippines is still being targeted for growth by the tobacco companies.

HealthJustice Philippines and DAKILA Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism believe that it is time for this health tragedy to end. The two organizations are organizing  May Ibubuga Ka Ba? A Time’s Up, Tobacco! Video Making Contest. The activity calls on Filipinos aged 15 to 35 to submit videos exposing the truth about smoking and the lengths the tobacco industry goes to in order to keep their customers addicted.

“The message is not new, but we’ll keep on repeating it until every person really understands: Smoking kills. It breaks relationships. It keeps our poor poorer,” states Chely Esguerra, Communications Manager of HealthJustice. “We believe that video has great power to share the perspective of the youth on the truth about tobacco,” she adds. 

“Big Tobacco wants you to think that smoking is your choice. What this industry fails to tell us is how dirty they get to make sure their business thrives,” says Miko Pepito, Project Coordinator of DAKILA, a 5,000 member-strong collective committed to building citizen participation.

Well-known musician and activist Noel Cabangon, also an active member of Dakila, said in article he wrote on the matter: Madalas depensa nila ay katulad lang sila ng iba pang mga negosyo pero isa itong kasinungalingan. Ang tobacco industry ay hindi katulad ng ibang mga negosyo dahil ang produktong ibinebenta nila ay lason at nakamamatay.” [They often reason in defense that they are just like any other business but this is a lie. The tobacco industry unique because their product is poison and kills.]

Prizes for the winners of the competition are as follow: Grand Prize P20,000, Second Prize P15,000, Third Prize P10,000, Top Ten Finalists P5,000, and Voter’s Choice Award P5,000. Winning videos will also be part of a video compilation that will be launched in a media event and screened in various areas around the country.   Deadline of entries is  on June 12, 2012, Tuesday.

For full contest mechanics and to download the entry form, visit www.timesuptobacco.com

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