THE Iloilo City Health Office is pushing for the hiring of non-smoking City Hall personnel.
In his letter to Mayor Jose Espinosa III, CHO head Dr. Bernard Caspe requested the Sangguniang Panlungsod to pass a resolution for the hiring non-smoking personnel and for workers who smoke to undergo the cessation program to put an end to diseases brought about by the harmful effects of smoking.
“As a grand slam Red Orchid awardee, Iloilo City should consider healthy and sound city government employees free from smoking and its hazardous threat to one’s health. The screening program would truly benefit not just the individual but the government workplace as well,” Caspe said.
Councilor Candice Tupas, committee chair on health, sanitation, and hospital services, who presented the letter on Tuesday to the Sangguniang Panlungsod said that once the committee hearing pushes through, they will be proposing a resolution mandating smokers to undergo consultation on cessation clinic as part of the requirements of the City Hall.
“It will go through a committee hearing but it will push through it will be a requirement for smokers to undergo sa cessation clinic for them to realize the negative effects of smoking and commit to a healthier lifestyle,” she said.
But Tupas explained that they are not advocating to stop the hiring of smokers.
“We don’t want to discriminate the personnel. We don’t want to alienate smokers because we recognize their change of heart and change of mind. What we want is for them to undergo consultation,” she stressed.
Meanwhile, Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Task Force (I-CAST) Executive Director Iñigo Garingalao expressed support for Caspe’s proposal of hiring non-smoking personnel.
Garingalao said the City Hall can still hire smokers as long as they are willing to undergo consultation with the smoking cessation clinic.
In the anti-smoking cycle, enforcement is not enough to end the addiction, according to Garingalo.
He urged smokers to undergo free consultation in the active cessation clinics in the metro.
Meanwhile, committee hearings involving the concerned agencies will be done to tackle the proposal of the City Health Office before finally proposing for a resolution or ordinance, Tupas said.