THE Department of Health (DOH) said Friday that the nationwide smoking ban will take effect starting July 22, or 60 days after the publication of Executive Order (EO) 26 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a press briefing, DOH spokesman Dr. Eric Tayag said the public, as well as different establishments, are advised to start preparing for the implementation of the EO or else risk being among the first offenders that will be penalized.
"Those who won't be able to comply with the requirements of the ban, you could be the one that will be made as an example offender," said Tayag.
He said it would be better if establishments will start putting up "No Smoking" signage, which is at least 8 by 11 inches, with the symbol occupying 60 percent of the signage.
Tayag also advised establishments to display "Designated Smoking Area" (DSA) signage, which must be accompanied by graphic health warnings (GHW) on the ill-effects of smoking.
He said having the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the EO 26 is not necessary for the nationwide smoking ban to take effect.
"Having an IRR is not necessary for implementing the ban. But we still hope to come out with it as soon as possible so that some of the provisions of the EO will become clearer," said Tayag.
It was on May 16 when Duterte signed EO 26, wherein smoking will be strictly prohibited in all public and enclosed places nationwide.
Among the areas where smoking is strictly prohibited are in centers of youth activity, such as play schools, preparatory schools, elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities, youth hostels, and recreational facilities for minors; elevators and stairwells; locations where fire hazards are present; within premises of public and private hospitals, as well as medical, dental, and optical clinics; and food preparation areas.
DSAs, on the other hand, are defined as an area of a building or conveyance, where smoking may be allowed, that are open spaces or separate areas with proper ventilation; there cannot be more than one DSA per establishment. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)