HealthJustice Philippines, a public health policy think tank and Bloomberg Awardee for Global Tobacco Control, lauds the action of Civil Service Commission (CSC) and Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to ban smoking in all voting precincts on May 9, 2016.
In a Minute Resolution No. 16-0234 issued by COMELEC dated April 5, 2016, it reiterated the policy of the CSC on 100% Smoke-Free Policy under CSC Memorandum Circular No. 17 series of 2009, and endeavored to enforce a total smoking ban in all voting centers this coming elections.
The smoking prohibition will cover 36,788 voting centers and 92,509 clustered precincts nationwide in the forthcoming polls.
In the Philippines, tobacco statistics are alarming. Filipinos consume more than 72 billion sticks of cigarettes per annum, while the Department of Health estimates that 10 Filipinos die every hour due to tobacco-related diseases. That’s 240 deaths every day or 87,600 every year.
“We at HealthJustice Philippines strongly support the move to make Election Day a healthy day. We congratulate the Commission on Elections and the Civil Service Commission in their initiative to protect the health of the Filipino people while they exercise their right to suffrage. We thank these agencies for not forgetting our health in this very important day.” said Atty. Irene Reyes, managing director of HealthJustice Philippines.