HealthJustice Philippines, a public health policy think tank and recipient of the Bloomberg Awardee for Global Tobacco Control, congratulates The Department of Education for releasing the Department Order 48, series of 2016 entitled “Policy and Guidelines on Comprehensive Tobacco Control which aims to educate and inform all students, teaching and non-teaching personnel and staff on the hazards of tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke, adverse socio-economic and environmental consequences of tobacco production, consumption, and tobacco control policies and tactics of the tobacco industry.
Atty. Irene Reyes, the Managing director of HealthJustice Philippines, praised DepEd for issuing the memorandum, which she described as comprehensive and increases child protections from the harms of tobacco exposure and use.
“We congratulate the DepEd for issuing a comprehensive policy that reiterates the commitment to create a healthy and smoke-free environment for all learners. This policy will protect the educational system from tobacco industry tactics like donation of textbooks or school supplies, and corporate social responsibility partnerships,” said Reyes.
Section 17 of the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 states that tobacco products are prohibited within one hundred meters from any point of the perimeter of a school, public playground or other facility frequented particularly by persons below eighteen years of age. This provision on access restrictions is reiterated in DepEd’s newest policy.
The policy requires the strict implementation of policies on the protection against tobacco industry interference in DepEd.
“We’re looking forward for the full implementation of this policy. There used to be a lot of partnerships between the tobacco industry and schools. DepEd has prohibited these partnerships. It sends an important message that DepEd is committed to protect the youth against tobacco and to protect its policies from the vested and commercial interests of the tobacco industry” Reyes, added.