Nationwide smoking ban EO to be signed by Duterte soon

MANILA, Philippines - An executive order (EO) disallowing smoking in all public places nationwide will be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte soon, according to Agriculture Chief Emmanuel Piñol.

Nationwide smoking ban EO to be signed by Duterte soon
Photo Credit: Facebook/Presidential Communications
The revised draft of the EO prepared by the Department of Health (DOH) had already reached the desk of President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, March 7.

DOH Secretary Paulyn Ubial, who was tasked to draft the EO, said: “The executive order will actually mandate all the agencies of government, including the local government to implement this 100% smoking ban in all public places. It's not just Metro Manila.”

“There will be no smoking in public places anymore, whether indoor or outdoor. Parks, bus stations, and even in vehicles. All these are considered public places,” Ubial added.

According to Ubial, since it’s an order to the executive branch, local government units (LGU) must draft their ordinances in order to implement the executive order.

Last year, Duterte warned smokers that he will soon issue an EO banning smoking inside establishments across the country. He explained that administrators of buildings allocating structures for smokers would not be considered complying with law. Duterte stressed that smokers need to go out of a building to smoke.

In Davao City, where Duterte served as mayor for 22 years, smoking has been banned in enclosed establishments. Smokers would need to go to an open-air designated smoking area.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has long recognized Davao City’s smoking ban as an effective smoke-free measure in an urban area.

Aside from the nationwide smoking ban, the DOH aims to amend the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 so that the government can get rid of contentious tobacco control polices such as the point-of-sale (POS) advertisements as well as the designation of smoking areas.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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