OUT SOON: EO on nationwide smoking ban for Duterte's signature

Out soon, most likely this month, the executive order on a nationwide smoking ban is ready for President Rodrigo Duterte's signature.

This was announced by Health Secretary Pauline Jean Ubial, adding that the EO they drafted replicates the existing Davao City ordinance which is being implemented from when the chief executive was still the mayor.

The DOH chief said that under this measure, public places whether indoor or outdoor as well as vehicles and establishments will be smoke-free. Smoking areas will be designated.

Taking a cue from the Ubial's statement that "what is being done in Davao is set to be done nationwide," here's the possible content of the executive order, based on "The New Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance" of Davao:

  • An Anti-Smoking Task Force will begin issuing citation tickets to violators. The citation ticket will indicate the specific violation and the corresponding administrative penalty.
  • The person issued with the ticket has the option to either contest the violation in court or voluntarily pay the penalty imposed upon him or her to avoid being criminally prosecuted within 3 days from apprehension. The no contest provision can only be availed once and that the violator must undergo smoking cessation counselling. Failure to undergo counselling still warrants the filing of a case in court.
  • The EO prohibits smoking of any tobacco product including e-cigarettes, shishas and the like, in all accommodation and entertainment establishments, workplaces, enclosed public places, partially enclosed public places, public buildings, public outdoor spaces and all public conveyances, government-owned vehicles and other means of public transport nationwide.
  • The designated smoking area of commercial and business establishments must be located in an open outdoor space with no permanent or temporary roof or walls located 10 meters away from entrances or exits with an area not larger than 5 square meters. All establishments caught violating this provision will be fined a maximum of P5,000 or 4 months imprisonment.
  • The Anti-Smoking Task Force will conduct a series of orientations to concerned parties including officials of the barangay, school administrators, restaurants owners and managers, tourism establishments and other business establishments supervisors to inform them of the new policy.

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