Nationwide smoking ban to take effect on July 23

    MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATED) The nationwide smoking ban will start taking effect on Sunday, July 23, according to Department of Health (DOH) spokesperson Enrique Tayag on Friday, July 14.

    Nationwide smoking ban to take effect on July 22

    The health agency previously announced that the law will take effect on July 15. However, Tayag clarified that the executive order signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on May 16 was published in Manila Bulletin on May 24. The law will be implemented 60 days after publication.

    "Nagkamali kami kasi kahapon na Sabado. Nung chineck namin effectivity na nakasaad sa EO, 60 days after the publication sa newspaper of general circulation. Nung chineck namin, May 24 pa na-publish, so isang linggo pa po,” Tayag told CNN Philippines.

    Smoking is totally prohibited in establishments such as hospitals, clinics, schools, food preparation areas as well as locations in which fire hazards are present, under Executive Order 26 which aims to establish "smoke-free environments in public and enclosed places.”

    However, the law allows designated smoking areas (DSA) inside other buildings. It may either be in an open space or a separate are with proper ventilation and with warnings on the dangerous effects of smoking.

    There should not be more than one DSA in a building. The chosen area should also have proper signage.

    "Maliban sa may kwarto ka kung saan lamang pwede manigarilyo, paglabas po noon, merong isa pang espasyo o kwarto kung saan, kung sakali man tumakas ang usok, ay wala pa pong maapektuhan bago pa bumukas ang pinto para sa publiko. Kung hindi ganoon, wag na kayo maglagay ng smoking area kasi violation po iyon,” Tayag explained.

    Violators of the EO may face a penalty of 6-year imprisonment or pay a fine of up to P100,000 in accordance with applicable penalties under the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003.

    -- Mini, The Summit Express

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