HealthJustice Philippines, a public health policy think tank and advocacy group with expertise in tobacco control and health promotion, congratulates President Rodrigo Duterte for signing the Executive Order No. 26 on Smoking Ban in the Philippines last May 16, 2017, which is patterned in Davao City.
Davao City is consistent with the implementation and enforcement of its smoke-free policies. Ten years after its successful smoking ban, different cities and towns in the Philippines have followed even in Southeast Asia.
“This latest issuance is a positive step in realizing a smoke-free Philippines. The success of it being implemented still depends on our law enforcers and the LGUs. Our hope is that more Filipinos will become educated about the harms that smoking can bring not only to our health but to the development of our country.” said HealthJustice President, Mary Ann Mendoza.
In accordance with the prevailing Republic Act 9211 and WHO FCTC, all people have a fundamental right to breathe clean air. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS), which causes heart disease, cancer, and many other diseases. Even brief exposure can cause serious damage. Only a total ban on smoking in all indoor public places, including workplaces, protects people from the harms of SHS exposure, helps smokers quit and reduces smoking.
“We hope that the policy will be effectively implemented. Having indoor DSAs is not ideal. We hope that building administrators will choose to establish outdoor DSAs or keep their establishments 100% smoke-free to better protect the public from second-hand smoke,” Mendoza concluded.
The Executive Order takes effect 60 days after publication. Local government units are also enjoined to develop, promote and implement their respective Local Smoking Cessation Programs.
This is the first nationwide recognition to have an LGU task force, which is a reminder to all local legislators on the General Welfare Clause, Davao example, CSC MC 17 & JMC that should be viewed as the nationwide gold standard. The order also called on civilians to join a Smoke-Free Task Force to help carry out the provisions of this order and apprehend and charge violators.
The EO also includes the duties and obligations of Persons-In-Charge to establish the strict implementation of DSAs and ensure a smoke-free environment within the respective premises of the buildings.
“We call on Congress to support the smoke-free policy of the President and amend RA 9211 to remove indoor DSAs so that we truly realize the constitutionally mandated right to health of Filipinos,” Mendoza urged.