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PB backs total smoking ban

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu Provincial Board has expressed its support for the measure for a nationwide smoking ban, which is pending for approval by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“A smoke-free environment is necessary so that everyone is protected from the hazards of second-hand smoke in public places,” read the PB resolution authored by Board Member Thadeo Jovito Ouano.

He cited Republic Act 9211(Tobacoo Regulation Act of 2003), which provides that “it is the policy of the State to protect the populace from hazardous products and promote the right to health and instill health consciousness among them.”

The same law states that it is consistent with the constitutional ideal to promote the general welfare and to safeguard the interests of the workers and other stakeholders in the tobacco industry.

Ouano said it is only fitting and appropriate to implement a total smoking ban in public places for the health and welfare of the general public as well as to instill discipline among the smokers.

“We have to be fully conscious of the effects of smoking on the health and well-being of the people, its harmful effects in smokers and non-smokers as well,” he said.

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Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella earlier said the president ordered Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial to revise the draft executive order and have it patterned after the “Davao model.”

“The one they presented allows smoking indoors, which the Davao model does not. That was revised to include the ban on smoking indoors. It will be signed soon by the president,” he said.

In a STAR interview the other week, Duterte said he was still studying the draft order.

“I’m measuring the resistance, whether I can compromise.  For example, providing smoking areas in buildings. We did not adopt it in our ordinance in Davao City. But there are a lot of dynamics there. So just give me enough time to study,” he said.

Duterte said he has to be careful in presenting the smoking ban to the public. —/ RHM (FREEMAN)

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