By Charina Clarisse Echaluce
The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Executive Order (EO) No. 26 or the EO for a smoke-free Philippines is expected to be released before President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July.
“We’re hoping that the IRR will come out before the 60 days that is outlined in the executive order for full implementation. So it will be hopefully out by July 16 or before the State of the Nation Address,” Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial said Tuesday, a day before the observance of the World No Tobacco Day 2017.
On May 16, President Duterte signed EO 26 “Providing for the Establishment of Smoke-Free Environments in Public and Enclosed Places”.
Local government units (LGUs), on the other hand, need not to wait for the IRR before enacting ordinances.
“Actually, ngayon may mga LGUs na may mga ordinances that are stricter than the EO, that can continue. What we will look into are the LGUs without existing ordinances in terms of implementation kasi the EO will now cover all the executive branch of government, so including the LGUs who have not passed their local ordinances,” Ubial added.
The LGUs can easily refer to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) as basis for their ordinances, according to Ubial.