THE National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) yesterday ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to strictly enforce the smoking ban.
NAPOLCOM vice chairman and executive officer Rogelio Casurao said that the Commission issued memorandum circular 2017-003 which reiterates the responsibility of the police force to apprehend violators of Executive Order (EO) 26 which aims to establish a smoke-free environment in public and enclosed places nationwide.
Approved by President Rodrigo Duterte on May 16, the EO also enjoins members of the PNP together with the Smoke-Free Task Force under the city and municipal governments to strictly carry out the provisions including apprehensions of violators, instituting criminal proceedings in accordance with relevant laws, rules and regulations and observance of due process.
“With 10 Filipinos dying prematurely from tobacco-related diseases every hour according to the World Health Organization, the NAPOLCOM sternly calls for the cooperation of the police and the local government units to take firm action against violators who endanger and neglect the right of every citizen to breathe clean air,” Casurao said.
EO 26 prohibits smoking within enclosed public places and public conveyances and for persons-in-charge to allow, abet or tolerate smoking in public and outside of a designated smoking area.
It also prohibits any person to sell, distribute or purchase tobacco products to and from minors and for a minor to smoke, sell or buy cigarettes or any tobacco products and ordering, instructing or compelling a minor to use, light up, buy, sell, distribute, deliver, advertise or promote tobacco products.
Selling or distributing tobacco products in school, public playground, youth hostels and recreational facilities for minors is also not allowed under said law.
E.O. 26 is a reinforcement of Republic Act No. 9211, also known as Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, which prohibits smoking in certain public places and the purchase and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to and by minors, and in certain places frequented by minors.