By: Flor Jackson

NAVAL, Biliran – The provincial government of Biliran led by Governor Gerardo “Gerryboy” Espina, Jr. has lined-up activities for the provincial launching of a smoke-free Biliran province set on June 28, 2011 during a meeting today at the Governor’s Hall of the provincial capitol.

According to Sangguniang Panlalalwigan (SP) Member Brigido Caneja III who represented Governor Espina during the meeting, the launching ceremony will be made simple but effective enough to let the Biliranons know, especially those who smoke that smoking is dangerous to one’s health as it is the cause of all other diseases that may affect a person who smokes and even those who are victims of second-hand and third-hand smoke.

He informed that the activities on the launching day of Biliran as a smoke-free province include a holy mass at 7:00 o’clock in the morning at the provincial capitol grounds. This will be followed by a motorcade around the main thoroughfares of poblacion Naval.

Joining the motorcade, he said, are the local government officials led by the mayors and vice-mayors of the eight municipalities of Biliran province; officials and some employees of the national government agencies (NGAs); and officials and employees and SP members of the provincial government of Biliran led by Governor Espina.

The motorcade will be followed immediately by a launching program right at the capitol grounds.

Governor Espina and other key officials of the province and the LGUs are expected to deliver their messages during the program.

The committee for a Smoke-Free Biliran will be inviting guests from the Department of Health (DOH) regional office no. 8 and the central office in Manila to grace the affair.

The motorcade will be chaired jointly by the provincial offices of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Biliran.

SP Caneja informed that the motorcade on the launching day of a Smoke-Free Biliran is one of the best opportunities to raise the awareness of the Biliranons on the ill-effects and dangers of smoking.

He said, since the launching of Naval as a Smoke-Free municipality in the province, he noted a decrease in the number of persons in workplaces who smoke.

For their part, Miss Quennie Amor, Provincial Project Coordinator of the DOH-Bloomberg Project in the province of Biliran and Miss Vanessa Veloso, Health Education and Promotions Officer (HEPO) of the Biliran Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) warned the Biliranons against the bad effects of smoking to a persons health in their power point presentations on the Dangers of Smoking.

In the province of Biliran, the top 10 morbidity cause are tobacco-related.

There are 87,600 Filinos who die of smoking-related diseases every year and 10 Filipinos die of smoking-related diseases everyday while 43 persons die of lung cancer caused by smoke everyday. (eopt/FEJ/PIA 8 Biliran)

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