Councilor eyes bill banning tobacco ads

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014


ILOILO City Councilor Joshua Alim is eyeing to discuss with stakeholders on a proposed ordinance that prohibits tobacco advertising, promotions, and sponsorships in the city in a bid to make the city a smoke-free area.

Alim, who is the chairman of the City Council’s Committee on Rules and Style, said he is more inclined to believe on the corporate social responsibility of corporations of tobacco and cigarette makers to lead on the battle against smoking.

A public hearing was held February 19, 2014 at the City Council by his committee and the Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Task Force (Icast) to hear the sentiments and opinions of stakeholders composed of district Liga ng mga Barangay presidents, teachers, health workers, police, media, owners of shopping malls and sari-sari stores, and other interested persons, Alim said.

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After hearing all sides of the proposed ordinance, Alim said they are going to collate and include the suggestions made into a regulation ordinance in the city.

Alim said it is well documented that tobacco advertising, promotions and sponsorships increase tobacco use, but the comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotions and sponsorships decrease tobacco use. Thus, an effective ban on tobacco advertising, promotions and sponsorships should be comprehensive and applicable to all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, he said.

The proposed city regulation ordinance will give more meaning to the implementation of Republic Act 9211 or the “Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003” and for the country under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) for which the Philippines is a signatory.

Among the suggested prohibited acts include placing cinema and outdoor advertising of tobacco products; placing posting or distributing materials of tobacco products such as leaflets, posters and similar materials outside the premises of point of sale establishments; placing billboards on top of commercial establishment or sari-sari store; placing of parasol or umbrella with tobacco product logo, or seal in commercial establishments stores and bars, and other similar establishments; placing of poster, leaflet and the like outside and inside the establishment; distribution of any item containing the name, logo and the like not directly use in relation with tobacco product; sponsoring events, allowing or accepting sponsorship of tobacco industry in events or any activities; and placing advertisements on jeepneys, taxis and other public conveyances.

Alim said the proposed penalties for violating establishments or business entity are P3,000 fine for first offense, one month suspension of business permit for the second offense, and revocation of the business permit for the third offense.

The penalties for violating individuals or business establishments without a permit include P1,000 fine for first offense, P2,000 for second offense, P5,000 for third offense or imprisonment for five days or both at the discretion of the court.

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