DOH launches campaign to declare Manila Bay 'smoke-free'

Larize Lee, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 29 2022 01:13 PM

Children enjoy playing at the Manila Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach on Oct. 21, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File
Children enjoy playing at the Manila Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach on Oct. 21, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The Department of Health-Metro Manila Center for Health Development (DOH-MMCHD) on Tuesday launched a campaign to make Manila Bay smoke-free.

The campaign was launched at the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach in celebration of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, with the goal of championing and advocating for a breathable environment where the public can enjoy and spend leisure time in smoke-free zones.

"At least dito man lang mabawasan natin dahil siyempre it's a beautiful site na pupuntahan ito ng ating mga kababayan, at least dito ma-minimize natin yung hindi magagandang gases kasama sa hangin," said DOH-MMCHD Regional Director Gloria Balboa. 

(It's a beautiful site visited by our kababayans, we at least hope to minimize the harmful gases in the air here.)

Different agencies and NGOs pledged their commitments, with a No Smoking sign unveiled on the Dolomite Beach.

Other stakeholders in the campaign include government agencies such as the interior and environment departments, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and the Manila city government, as well as private groups Action on Smoking & Health (ASH) and Philippines and Asia Pacific Cities Alliance for Health and Development (APCAT).

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Cancer Observatory in 2020 showed that lung cancer remained the second most prevalent disease and the most common cause of cancer-related mortality in both men and women globally.

In the Philippines, 19,180 new lung cancer cases were recorded for both genders, accounting for 12.5 percent of all cancer cases in the country. 

This percentage was the second highest among all types of cancer, with the highest number of new cases. 

Lung cancer ranks first among all cancer types in terms of mortality, causing 17,063 deaths in 2020, accounting for 18.4 percent.

Through the launch of Smoke-Free Manila Bay with multi-sectoral partner agencies, the DOH-MMCHD said it hoped many Filipinos would see smoking as one of the major risk factors in developing lung cancer, thus discouraging them from the habit.

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