ILOILO City – The city government’s exemplary initiatives against smoking will be showcased before one of the world’s biggest tobacco control program funders this week.
It will be an honor for the city to host the Bloomberg Philanthropies on Feb. 15 to 16, said Iñigo D. Garingalao, executive director of the Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Task Force (ICAST).
Bloomberg has donated USD1 billion in grants to various nongovernment organizations for the tobacco control program.
“We were surprised that among cities in the Philippines, they wanted to visit us here and look into our advocacy on children,” Garingalao said.
The Bloomberg team will visit various advocacy groups of the ICAST, like those conducting storytelling sessions on kids against tobacco use.
“Iloilo City has been standing pat against tobacco promotions and sponsorships that usually entice our youth into smoking,” Garingalao said.
Garingalao is hoping that Bloomberg can extend assistance, particularly to the city’s smoking cessation clinic.
The city has been offering free counseling for those who want to quit smoking through the cessation clinic under the City Health Office.
Garingalao noted that Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, has one of the highest smoking prevalence in the world. (With PNA/PN)