Nationwide No Smoking "Executive Order 26" of President Duterte Heavily Criticized?
President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order(EO) 26 which stipulates that smoking shall only be allowed on designated areas(DSAs). The EO has been implemented on July 23, 2017 which shall cover the entire archipelago. Private sectors are mandated to follow the smoking zone buffer allowance and other implemeting guidelines.
The nationwide smoking ban specifically sets strict rules in areas close to schools and recreational facilities. The EO is said to be a realization of a tobacco-free future. Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella is urging the public to cooperate and support the national program.
The public smoking ban requires active participation of Local Government Units (LGUs) who will ensure the compliance of its constituents. The local heads are also incharge in monitoring individual violators. In line with this, they are also given the responsibility to draft an ordinance which shall contain the specific fines. Charges will be at minimum of P500 to P10,000 depending on the number of offenses.
To promote awareness and better understanding of the smoking ban, DOH issued an advisory that encapsulates the details of EO 26. Check the infographic below.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, there are 17.3M Filipino adults who are currently tobacco smokers. Though vape communities are getting larger, millions of Filipinos are still tobacco smokers.
Because of such huge count of tobacco smoke dependents, there have been so many resistance from the group as seen on Facebook posts. Many of them argued that they have the rights to smoke anywhere they want because they paid their own cigarrettes. Other criticisms include smoking inside a private car, terrace of condo units, or at the parking area should be allowed.
Discussion of the Executive Order in Social Media
One particular comment on Facebook caught our attention. Netizen Mariane Pajarillo raised a question if vaping is considered as smoking. Her inquiry was fueled by her concerns to her boyfriend.
Just wanna clarify if vaping is considered as smoking. Madalas ko po kasi sawayin bf ko when he's vaping in public establishments. He would just say na he's not smoking and just vaping. Sana po considered syang smoking at included sa ban na to. At pwede po bang pakitaasan na din ang penalty. Pero sana tumigil nalang na talaga sya. #HealthIsWealth
Another netizen quickly replied to Pajarillo. Jeremy Sean said, "Well vaping is not included in the smoking ban, but please tell this to your boyfriend, the smell of vape is disgusting,so please don't vape in public, every time I smell it I feel like throwing up. People thought vapes smell good but if you have a good sense of smell its actually disgusting."
However, Kristian Lacasandile opposed the opinion of Jeremy. He explained, "Normally po ang rule is-Don't vape where u can't smoke, eto po sa vaping community dito sa Baguio. Cause not everyone can differentiate vaping from smoking. Ganto po dito sa vaping community ng Baguio. Vaper din po ako. Better po sa safe side tau. Kesa biglang mahuli ng lespu o ano."
Meanwhile, Mae Everlee Badua is wishing that the implementation of the nationwide smoking ban in the Philippines will be successful. Badua is hinting a possible failure at the local government level since too many laws were never fully implemented.
It's not a bad idea pero baka sa unang araw lang yan bawal. Sa dami kasi ng batas yung iba nakakalimutan agad. Hopefully even spitting in public places is prohibited.
Before you leave, we just want to reiterate that the smoking ban is only applicable to public places. If you are a smoker, you are free to smoke inside your home anytime you want.
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