An executive order (EO) that will impose a nationwide smoking ban is expected to be signed this month.
“The president will already sign that EO. Probably within October,” Health Secretary Pauline Jean Ubial disclosed, referring to EO they have drafted that will prohibit smoking across the country.
Ubial noted that the draft EO essentially replicates the existing ordinance in Davao City implemented since the time of Duterte as a mayor.
“What is being done in Davao is set to be done nationwide,” the DOH chief stressed.
Under this, all public places will be 100 percent smoke-free, she further noted.
“There will be nobody smoking in public places anymore, whether indoor or outdoor. Parks, bus stations, and even in vehicles. All these are considered public places,” the health secretary added.
Ubial also said they will make a strong push for Congress to amend the existing Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 (Republic Act 9211) to be able to eliminate other contentious tobacco control policies.
“We are still trying to explore amending the law, RA 9211 because of the many contentious issues and gray areas,” she stated, saying that among the gray areas are the point-of-sale advertisements as well as in the designation of smoking areas.