July 26, 2017, 10:49 am
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No smoking: Duterte signs order on nationwide ban

PRESIDENT Duterte has finally signed an executive order banning smoking in public places nationwide.

Malacañang yesterday said the President signed EO 26, titled “Providing for the Establishment of Smoke-Free Environments in Public and Enclosed places,” on May 16.

The ban becomes effective 60 days after publication of the order in a newspaper of general circulation.

The President, in signing the long-promised order, said the nationwide ban is in pursuit of the government policy to guarantee the enjoyment of the right of every person to breathe clean air as stated under the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999.

Duterte, during the campaign for the May 2016 elections, promised to impose a smoking ban similar to that he implemented in Davao City where he served as mayor for at least two decades.

Duterte said there is also scientific evidence that tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke cause death, disease and disability and that the public’s health should take precedence over any commercial or business interest,

Under the EO, smoking will be banned in all public places including schools; work places; government facilities; establishments that provide food and drinks, accommodations, and professional services; outdoor spaces like playgrounds, sport centers, church grounds, hospitals, transportation terminals, markets, parks, resorts, waiting areas, walkways and sidewalks; elevators and stairwells; locations where fire hazards present; and public transportation.

It also provides for the creation of designated smoking areas (DSAs) which is defined as an “area of a building or conveyance where smoking may be allowed, which may be in an open space or separate area with proper ventilation.”

It states that the DSAs should not be located within 10 meters from entrances, exits, and areas where people pass or congregate, or in front of air ducts; should have any opening where air could escape, except for a single door that is equipped with an automatic door closer; and should not be less than 10 square meters in size but not more than 20 percent of floor size of the building.

The EO also states that buildings are not allowed to have more than one DSA and that minors should not be allowed in the DSAs.

The EO mandates the establishment of a “non-smoking buffer zone” which is defined as a zone between the door of the DSA to the rest of the building.

It also provides for the creation of smoke-free task forces, which shall coordinate with the police, to ensure that the smoking ban will be implemented, while local government units, in coordination with the Department of Health, are encouraged to come up with a smoking cessation program.

The EO also reaffirms the ban on the sale of tobacco to minors.
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Wyoming, we want our bells back!

By DAHLI ASPILLERA | July 26,2017
‘I uphold and stand for the entirety of President Duterte’s SONA... Also for his demand for the return of the Balangiga Bells whose fate I wrote about 22 years ago.’

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By DODY LACUNA | July 26, 2017
‘The possible assassination of the very popular Duterte by the CPP/NPA would likely lead to an intense civil unrest, with the military suddenly cracking down on leftist groups, the opposition and the media.’