More than one million Filipinos have quit tobacco use

Panel members at the press conference include Finance Assistance Secretary Maria Teresa Habitan, Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial, WHO Philippine Representative Weiler Gundo and Dr Jean Tesche, of the WHO Headquarters Tobacco Control Economics Unit

MANILA, 20 MARCH 2017 - The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday, March 20 that a number of tobacco control interventions, particularly tobacco taxation has led to a significant drop in current smokers from 17 million (2009) to 15.9 million (2015). The Tobacco Tax Reform Law of 2012 was also called an “anti-cancer tax” that has a significant health outcome and has increased funds available for health.

Confronting the Silent Killer: Drowning in the Philippines

WHO/Chantal Claravall
Dr David Meddings, Head of Violence and Injury Prevention in WHO Headquarters, Jonathon Passmore Technical Lead for Violence and Injury Prevention in WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific, and Mayor of Kapalong Hon. Maritess Timbol inspect one of the open well barriers. This two year project was supported by all levels of the WHO; Headquarters, Regional, Country Office in Manila and the WHO Subnational Initiative Hub in Davao.

In the Philippines, an average of 3,276 deaths per year from accidental drowning and submersion were recorded in 2006-2013. To address this serious and neglected public health threat, Bloomberg Philanthropies decided to support a drowning prevention project in the country. Thanks to this, the Philippine Department of Health (DOH), World Health Organization (WHO), and Local Government Units (LGUs) banded to work together to tackle this silent killer.

Keeping drinking-water safe in the Philippines

Water safety planning (WSP) is a comprehensive approach introduced in the Philippines to assess and manage the risks of the water supply chain—from the source to consumer. This moves away from the notion that tap water quality testing is the only way to determine the safety of drinking water and instead, regards tap testing as just one of the methods to verify water safety. WSP assures that water can be checked on in the simplest water systems to the most complex.

Working to End TB in the Philippines by 2030

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the top ten causes of death in the world. In 2015 alone, the Philippines saw 14 000 TB related deaths and approximately 324 000 new TB patients in the same year. More TB has been seen among vulnerable populations and clinical high risk groups such as people living with HIV, malnutrition, and diabetes. The Philippines also had 17 000 rifampicin-resistant and multi-drug resistant TB patients which is in large part due to inappropriate treatment in the unengaged private sector.

Highlights from the Country

  • 29 November 2016

    WHO: AIDS Cases Rising, Early Detection Key

    The Philippines is seeing 26 newly diagnosed cases of HIV per day with over 7,500 cases reported this year alone. Although there is increasing access to testing and treatment services, people living with HIV are learning too late about their infection. As a consequence, an increasing number of people develop AIDS, rather than receiving effective antiretroviral treatment that can keep them healthy and prevent further transmission.

  • 30 November 2016

    Transgender Health and HIV in the Philippines

    Worldwide, transgender people are disproportionately affected by HIV compared to the general population. It is estimated that HIV prevalence among transgender women is 49 times higher than in the general adult population, and the Philippines is no exception.

  • 27 November 2016

    Project PrEPpy: Tackling an Old Epidemic in a New Way

    In recent years, primary care needs of men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TGW) have been increasing as a result of a rapidly spreading epidemic of HIV infection in the Philippines. To date, MSM comprise 76% of all HIV cases recorded in the Philippines and in July 2016 alone we saw the highest number of HIV cases ever reported in the country since 1984.

  • 14 November 2016


    The Philippines joins the global movement to advocate the responsible use of antibiotics as the Department of Health (DOH) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) leads the celebration of the Philippine Antibiotic Awareness Week (PAAW) 2016. This week-long celebration launches the Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Program today, in Manila Pavillion which aims to address the misuse of antibiotics driving the emergence of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) by making bacteria and viruses stronger that make them withstand the effect of antibiotics.

  • WHO Philippines on social media

  • Health Cluster Philippines

    The United Nations has developed the cluster system to help governments coordinate the foreign assistance offered in humanitarian disasters. In the Philippines, the Department of Health is the lead of the Health Cluster, with WHO as co-lead.

Contact Information

WHO Philippines
Ground Floor, Building 3
Department of Health Compound
Sta Cruz, 1003 Manila
Tel: (632) 5289762
(632) 3106370
DOH Line: (632) 6517800 loc 1345
Fax: (632) 3106550