^

Tobacco farmers hail Phl panel

- Teddy Molina () - November 28, 2010 - 12:00am

CANDON CITY, Ilocos Sur, Philippines  — Tobacco farmers have expressed jubilation over the outcome of a recent global convention on tobacco control held in Uruguay that allegedly resulted in the protection of the tobacco industry against “excessive and restrictive” guidelines in the manufacture of tobacco products.

At the same time, the Philippine Tobacco Growers’ Association (PTGA) through its president Winston Uy commended the Philippine delegation to the convention headed by Trade Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya for reportedly being able to convince delegates from other nations not to digress from the real intent of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Other members of the delegation came from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, and the UP College of Law.

The Philippine delegation attended the 171-nation conference in Uruguay to discuss proposed guidelines on Articles 9 and 10 of the FCTC.

The Philippines had opposed the proposed guidelines which sought to ban the use of ingredients in the manufacture of cigarettes. The DTI-led contingent instead pushed for the regulation in the use of tobacco ingredients and espoused a science-based support for the ban of any tobacco ingredient.

The farmers claimed that an indiscriminate and non-scientific based ban on ingredients will result in a de-facto prohibition of blended cigarettes in the Philippines. “This would have a significant impact on the tobacco industry, and adversely affect farmers, manufacturers, retailers and other associated industries,” Uy claimed.

Praising the Philippine delegation, the PTGA chief said that it maintained a brave stand convincing FCTC delegates about the true intent of the FCTC, which is to regulate the use of tobacco ingredients “and not impose a total ban on ingredients.”

The proposed FCTC guidelines would have banned the use of burley leaf tobacco, among others, which is widely grown in the Philippines as an ingredient in cigarettes.

“We are extremely delighted over the outcome,” Philippine Association of Tobacco-Based Cooperatives (PATCO) president Andy Reyes told The STAR. PATCO had rallied its members to oppose the proposed guidelines.

“It is but proper for the FCTC delegates to be reminded that the treaty aims to regulate the use of tobacco, not to extinguish the tobacco industry,” said Uy.

PTGA also accused anti-tobacco advocates of “hypocrisy and insincerity” for allegedly saying that they were under-represented in the Philippine delegation.

“In the first place, the discussions in Uruguay involved governments so what is the basis for the inclusion of these anti-tobacco organizations in the Philippine delegation?” Uy asked.

“These anti-tobacco advocates did not complain before when the original Philippine delegation was composed of the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Health, Health Justice, and the UP College of Law Foundation,” said Uy.

ANDY REYES COLLEGE OF LAW COLLEGE OF LAW FOUNDATION DELEGATION DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY PHILIPPINE TOBACCO
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with