Duterte’s anti-smoking EO may not all be like Davao

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of Health, and stakeholders including smokers may have reached a compromise in the midst of a 100% smoke-free executive order (EO) awaiting the signature of the head of state.

DOH Secretary Paulyn Ubial, in an interview at the Royal Mandaya Hotel, said that the EO would not look exactly like the local version pioneered by the landmark Davao City ordinance the President wants to emulate.

Ubial added that the EO was already on the President’s desk and could be signed as early as this week.

“I was in Malacanang yesterday and the EO is awaiting the President’s signature,” Ubial said.

According to the official, various versions of the executive order had to be made in deference to existing policies regulating smoking.

The country already has Republic Act 9211, which governs smoking.

President Duterte had wanted to emulate Davao City’s version, which prohibits indoor smoking and requires smoking areas 10 meters away from building entrances, among other strict measures.

Roadsides and parks, for example, are areas where smokers may not puff away.

“There were exchanges of the draft because the marching order of President is to follow the Davao ordinance,” Ubial said.

“But the legal team of the President also reviewed that (this) cannot be applied nationwide because there are other laws and other provisions that we have to review in terms of implementation.”

The DOH, for its part, would be tasked to draft the implementing rules and regulation (IRR) for the possible EO.

However, Ubial did not reveal which part of the Davao ordinance would not be applicable to President Duterte’s EO.

She said it would be the President who would make the announcement through the measure.

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