Study visit to Davao City-Philippines to promote smoke-free cities in the ASEAN

Last June 18-21, 2012, 8 participants from four ASEAN countries (Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Viet Nam) went to Davao City, Philippines to participate in a study visit on smoke-free environments.  The activity aimed to provide the visitors with the unique and first-hand experience on the strict enforcement of a smoke-free policy.  It also aimed to provide inputs in the preparation of a smoke-free policy and its enforcement in the countries represented, based on the Davao experience.

 Davao City in the southern part of the Philippines started its Anti-Smoking Campaign in 2002. The city will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary as a Smoke-free City on the 31st of May. Workshops, seminars and study visits were conducted in the City since 2007 when the Department of Health and the non-government organizations wanted to expose government officials and tobacco control advocates on how to make their city smoke-free. Government officials and tobacco control advocates from Hanoi, Vietnam and Bangkok, Thailand visited Davao City in 2008 and 2010 respectively. The city is now focusing on smoke-free tourism so it is already prepared for tourists visiting the City just to know how the anti-smoking policy is being enforced in a city with more than 1.5 million population and one of the cities with the biggest land area.

 Dr. Domilyn Villarreiz, the FCTC Program Manager of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Alliance (SEATCA) and the  convenor and the co-chairperson of the Smoke-free Davao Campaign since 2002 up to the present, was on hand to lead the study visit.

Participants to the study visit by the Davao City Hall, a 100% smoke-free government facility. From L-R: Prof. Rahmat  Bin Awang, Coordinator, Clearinghouse for Tobacco Control, National Poison Centre, Universiti Sains Malaysia; Mr. Mohd Rizal Majid, Assistant Director, Corporate Relations, Malaysian Health Promotion Board (MySihat), Malaysia; Ms. Do Thi Phi, Program Coordinator, Center for Research and Community Development Services, Hanoi, Vietnam; Dr. Domilyn Villarreiz, the FCTC Program Manager of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Alliance (SEATCA); Mr. Mey Marady, Deputy Director General, APSARA Authority/ Siem Ream, Cambodia; Mr. Sao Chamroeun, Officer, Inter-sectoral Division, Phnom Penh Municipality, Cambodia; Dr. Xayphone Nanthaphone, Tobacco Control Coordinator, Vientiane Capital Health Department, Lao PDR; Dr. Harmy Bin Mohamed Yusoff, Coordinator, Smoke-free Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia; Mr. Sitthiphone Bouphavanh , Head of Archive Section, Cabinet of Vientiane Capital Governor’s Office.
Getting ready to board the tourist bus and proceed to the Coca-Cola Plant, a smoke-free workplace. 

Study visit to SEATCA’s Model Smoke-free City, Davao City, Philippines. This is at the Covenant Mountain, Tamayong, Davao, which is a Smoke-free Place of Worship, and where the whole day smoke-free symposium was held.