The City of Oroquieta recently received from the Department of Health (DOH) the Red Orchid Award in recognition of the city’s tough campaign against smoking. The top distinction was given to the local government based on the criteria set by the DOH under the World Health Organization’s (WHO) MPOWER framework aimed at implementing a 100% tobacco-free environment. Mayor Jason Almonte received the award during ceremonies held in General Santos City last June 26.
Mayor Almonte stressed that the city’s anti-smoking campaign is part of his administration’s 8-point agenda. He said, Oroquieta continues to strive for the good life of its constituents through healthy lifestyle. Almonte thanked the Sangguniang Panlungsod for strengthening the city’s anti-smoking ordinance which paved the way for the intensified effort toward a smoke-free city. He also thanked the frontline implementers of the anti-smoking campaign in the city like the PNP, the City Traffic Management Board and the taskforce for their assistance, and the City Health Office headed by Dr. Clemente Almonte. He also expressed sincere appreciation to the Provincial Health Office for its enormous contribution to Oroquieta’s successful campaign.
Mayor Almonte, however, said the campaign will be further strengthened and cited the recommendations by the DOH evaluators who visited the city in May. They urged the city should not allow the designation of smoking areas inside establishments. The United Nations’ Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (UN-FCTC) does not allow smoking areas inside enclosed spaces like in offices and commercial establishments.
Almonte added, the local government of Oroquieta strongly adheres to the MPOWER framework set by the WHO. It provides for a close monitoring and evaluation of tobacco use and prevention policies; implementation of policies to protect people from the effects of tobacco use & second hand smoke; offer help to people who wish to quit smoking; warn people of the dangers of tobacco; implement absolute ban on tobacco advertisement, promotions and sponsorships in whatever form; and raising taxes on tobacco and tobacco products. (Larry)
A team of doctors, nurses and volunteers of the Bisaya Medical Association ( BMA-USA ) a US based charity group conducted medical mission to help the people of Oroquieta bringing along with them medical equipments and medicines worth millions of pesos intended especially for the poorest of the poor that needs medical attention and free medicines. The group headed by Dr. Dick Larumbe founded in July 1997 in Florida USA, has conducted several medical missions and provided scholarship to deserving medical students in the country for the past several years.
The 30 member BMA-USA medical team mostly composed of US-based Filipino physicians and surgeons arrived on January 18 and in the evening was accorded a festive “bayanihan” themed reception party at the prestigious Oroquieta Town Center hosted by the local government of Oroquieta in time for the city’s cabecera (founding) anniversary. City Mayor Jason P. Almonte warmly welcomed and sincerely thanked BMA-USA for choosing the city as the venue of their mission. Also present were Vice Gov. Virginia M. Almonte and 1st District Rep. Jorge T. Almonte who are supportive of the group’s aid work, City government employees, support groups and medical practitioners headed by Dr. Faith G. Go were also present to welcome the group.
During the 4-day medical mission held at the City Gym,, a total of 3,640 children and adult patients were served through consultations and actual checkups. Several assorted medicines were given and minor operations were conducted by the team at the state run Misamis Occidental Provincial Hospital ( MOPH ). The mission was participated by doctors of the local Misamis Occidental Medical Society, Philippine Medical Association-Oroquieta chapter and the City Health Office doctors, nurses and employees. (SIDLAK)gls.
In an effort to attract new investments for the city, two major players of the wholesale and retail chain industry opened branches recently in Oroquieta thereby boosting the city’s economic conditions for the last quarter of 2013. Cebu based Prince Warehouse Club Incorporated opened their branch located at Barrientos Street and CamSur Department Store along Rizal Street in Oroquieta City.
While Prince Warehouse Club intends to serve the Mindanao market through their wholesale and retail merchandise, CamSur features an array of consumer goods and grocery items. Their 3 storey building along Rizal Street is equipped with an escalator to make shopping comfortable. It also comes with a comfortably luxurious but affordable hotel, the internationally famous Asia Novotel, located on the 3rd floor just overlooking Iligan Bay.
On December 14, 2013 Prince Warehouse Club formally opened branch in Oroquieta City its 2,300 sqm. superstore facility at Barrientos street. In the afternoon Novotel of CamSur chain formally opened their hotel operations. No other than Oroquieta City Mayor Jason P. Almonte in behalf of the people of Oroquieta led the twin opening ceremonies. He personally welcomed and thanked the two big businesses for their investments and contribution to the economic development of the city and the job opportunities it provided for the people.(sidlak)gls