Twelve Filipino child artists were awarded on Thursday by childrenâ€™s rights groups in a poster-making competition aimed to demonstrate the dangers of tobacco companies and their products.Â
The competition â€˜Sigarilyo: Panganib sa Bayan Koâ€™ (â€˜Cigarettes: Danger to My Nationâ€™) was launched by Child Rights Network (CRN) Philippines, Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD), Gitib, Inc., and ImagineLaw this August. The said competition received more than 200 entries from age groups 10-14 years old and 15-17 years old for both digital and traditional poster-making categories.Â
Twelve-year-old Kaye Sarmiento won first place in her age group in the digital category for â€˜Paralyzing Addictionâ€™. Jun Ivanne Dalmanâ€™s digital poster â€˜Tobacco Destroys, Destroy Tobaccoâ€™ placed first in his age group.
In the traditional poster-making category that allowed the use of physical materials such as watercolor and acrylic, 12-year-old John Henry Luna Jr.â€™s poster â€˜Mulat na Bulagâ€™ won first place in the 10-14-year-old age group while Errol Caringalâ€™s â€˜The Outturns of Ashâ€™ gained the top prize in the 15-17 age group.Â Â
â€œTobacco companies are targeting children and young people as the next generation of consumers of their deadly products to sustain their business,â€ said Romeo Dongeto, executive director of PLCPD and co-convener of CRN Philippines.
â€œThese artworks remind us to take time and listen to children and young people in their clamor for a tobacco-free future,â€ he added.
â€œWe have to remind grown-ups constantly: there are 117,000 deaths every year due to tobacco-related illnesses in the Philippines, 269 billion pesos in annual socio-economic losses, 12.5% student-smokers as of 2019, and 23.8% adult smokers,â€ said ImagineLaw Executive Director Atty. Sophia San Luis.
â€œChildren can reduce complex problems into the simplest truths: tobacco companies are harmful and deadly. Tobacco companies are neither friends nor allies,â€ she also said.
The other finalists in the traditional poster-making category are the following: Second Place, 10-14-year-old Age Group: â€˜Pag-iwas sa Mapanganib na Sigarilyo, Isang Babala para sa Sambayanang Pilipinoâ€™ by Elyzza Jane V. Caringal (13 years old) of Batangas; Third Place, 10-14-year-old Age Group: â€˜Nagkakaisang Kabataan upang Sigarilyo ay Wakasanâ€™ by Kyle Brondial Espinosa (13 years old) of Bataan; Second Place, 15-17-year-old Age Group: â€˜Don’t Let Tobacco Burn Your Future Into Ashes by John Estrael J. Ballera (17 years old) from San Pedro City, Laguna; and Third Place, 15-17-year-old Age Group: â€˜Deadly stickâ€™ by Zara Gen G. Velasco (16 years old) from Nueva Ecija.
The other finalists in the digital poster-making category are the following: Second Place, 10-14-year-old Age Group: â€˜Sigarilyo ay huwag susubukan dahil ito ay magdadala ng kadiliman sa sarili at sa bayanâ€™ by Bai Alija Zacaria (14 years old) of North Cotabato; Third Place, 10-14-year-old Age Group: â€˜Ill Effects of Cigarettesâ€™ by Gerald Timothy M. Cruz (11 years old) of Zamboanga City; Second Place, 15-17-year-old Age Group: â€˜Ang Industriya ng Tobaccoâ€™ by Lander John Salango (17 years old) of Cavite; and Third Place, 15-17-year-old Age Group: â€˜Cremationâ€™ by Imma Christel Ehlan Carranza Quimbo (16 years old) of Cavite.
Winners received cash prizes and certificates.