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DoH wants LGUs to strictly enforce smoking ban

By: Genalyn D. Kabiling

The Department of Health is willing to conduct a name and shame campaign against local government units that will not strictly enforce the smoking ban in public places starting July 23.

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said they expect the local government units to implement the President’s directive on the smoking restrictions or else they might face sanctions.

“We are ready to explore that idea of really naming and shaming some of the LGUs that are not complying and also rewarding those that have fully implemented the 100-percent smoke-free environments,” Ubial said.

Ubial agreed that the name and shame campaign is a “good idea,” citing that the Health department applied the same strategy to help reduce firecracker injuries in the country.

She said the DoH previously identified the local government units with the highest number of firecracker injuries, which later compelled them to improve the safety measures during the New Year’s Eve revelry. “We brought down firecracker injuries by 30 percent this year,” she said.

The executive order that prohibits smoking in public places across the country, signed by President Duterte last May 16, will formally take effect on July 23.

Ubial said the order can be enforced this coming weekend even though the implementing rules and regulations are still being crafted. “There’s no grace period,” she said.

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