MANILA, Philippines — The implementation of the Executive Order No. 26 or the Nationwide Smoking Ban remains a challenge for the Department of Health (DOH) since it took effect last July 23rd.
With the return of Secretary Francisco Duque III as the DOH Chief, he is set to face local government officials to discuss with them how to properly implement the new law.
One problem the DOH Chief sees is the different policies implemented by each city.
“It’s EO’s laws are easy to formulate but the real challenge is in the execution. So you will say this is the penalty. These are the penalties or schedule of penalties. I believe it’s not yet there it has to be in the implementing rules. So, can someone be jailed because of this?’ Duque said.
The new DOH Chief also seeks to hold a dialogue with officials of Davao City and Makati City because of their successful implementation of the No-Smoking Policy.
Secretary Duque added that the government should also make the public understand that it is serious in its campaign against smoking. That’s why, he said, the DOH also plans to implement a massive social marketing campaign
“To ensure that the public knows why there is a ban and the reason behind the executive order signed by the president and that we have to see how the penalties can be implemented as well,” Duque said.
“It’s not enough to just put there no smoking signs in public places but really you have to show there what the consequences are if these violations are committed,” he added.
Former Health secretary Paulyn Ubial previously said local government units should have smoke -free task force that would implement the smoking ban in their area of jurisdiction in order for them to strictly monitor those who would attempt to violate the law. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue
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