MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order banning smoking in public places nationwide, officials confirmed Thursday.
Speaking to ABS-CBN News, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said Duterte signed the executive order last May 16. Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella also confirmed that Duterte already signed the EO.
Ubial said the signing of Executive Order 26 was made in time for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day on May 31.
Duterte had made his campaign vow to impose a nationwide smoking ban similar to what has long been implemented in Davao City, where he served as mayor for over two decades.
Duterte had shunned criticism to his policy, especially those coming from the tobacco industry.
EO No. 26 titled “Providing for the establishment of smoke-free environments in public and enclosed spaces,” listed as a prohibited act smoking in “enclosed public spaces and public conveyances, whether stationary or in motion, except in DSA (designated smoking areas).”
The EO provides standards for a spot to be considered a designated smoking area (DSA), which may either be an open space or a separate area with proper ventilation.
For a DSA inside an enclose space, there shall be no opening that would allow air to escape into smoke-free area of a building or conveyance, except for a single door equipped with an automatic door closer.
A DSA shall also have a non-smoking buffer zone. The combined area for a DSA and its buffer zone should not be larger than 20 percent of the total floor area of the building or conveyance.
The DSA is also barred from being located within 10 meters from entrances, exits, or any place where people pass or congregate, or in front of air intake ducts. There shall be no more than one DSA in a building, and the chosen area should bear proper signage.
Minors are prohibited from DSAs, the order said.
The EO, however, bars the establishment of DSAs in schools, hospitals, clinics, food preparation areas, and locations in which fire hazards are present.
OTHER PROHIBITED ACTS
The EO also prohibits “persons-in-charge” to allow, abet or tolerate smoking in public places.
Persons-in-charge refers to a president or manager in case of a company, corporation, partnership or association, or the administrator in case of government or private property, facility, office or building, and the city/municipal schools superintendent, school president, dean or principal in case of schools.
Selling, distributing, or purchasing tobacco products to and from minors are also prohibited. Ordering, instructing, or compelling a minor to use, light up, buy, sell, distribute, deliver, advertise or promote tobacco products are likewise prohibited.
The EO also bars placing tobacco advertisements and other promotional materials within 100 meters from the perimeter of a school, public playground, and other facilities frequented by minors.
Persons-in-charge are also mandated to establish internal procedure and measures through which the EO shall be implemented and enforced within the area of which he is in charge.
Those who will be found to have violated the EO shall be punished in accordance with applicable penalties under Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003.
Local government units are also enjoined to develop, promote and implement their respective Local Smoking Cessation Programs.