By Chito A. Chavez
The National Police Commission (Napolcom) ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to strictly enforce the provisions of Executive Order (E.O.) No. 26 which will establish a smoke-free environment in public and enclosed places in the country.
Napolcom Vice-Chairman and Executive Officer Atty. Rogelio T. Casurao issued the order after the Commission issued Memorandum Circular No. 2017-003 which reminded the PNP to arrest violators of the executive order which was approved by President Duterte on May 16, 2017.
The Presidential directive enjoins the members of the PNP, together with the Smoke-Free Task Force under the city and municipal governments, to strictly carry out the provisions of E.O. 26 including the apprehension of violators and the institution of criminal proceedings for violations, in accordance with relevant laws, rules and regulations, and in 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.
Executive Order No. 26 provides the following prohibited acts: smoking within enclosed public places and public conveyances; for persons-in-charge to allow, abet or tolerate smoking in the aforementioned places and outside of a designated smoking area; for any person to sell, distribute or purchase tobacco products to and from minors; for a minor to smoke, sell or buy cigarettes or any tobacco products; 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 schools, public playgrounds, youth hostels and recreational facilities for minors; placing, posting, displaying or distributing promotional materials of tobacco products within 100 meters from the perimeter of a school, public playground and other facilities frequented by minors; placing any form of tobacco advertisement outside of the premises of point-of-sale establishments and placing any stall, booth and other displays concerning tobacco promotions in areas outside the premises of point-of-sale locations or adult-only facilities.