An anti-tobacco watchdog on Sunday said casinos are rampant violators of Executive Order No. 26 or the nationwide smoking ban.
The EO refers to the “Establishment of Smoke-Free Environments in Public and Enclosed Places” which took effect on July 23.
Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance Philippines (FCAP) executive director Maricar Limpin said they have received reports showing casinos are among the establishments that are lax in implementing the EO.
“Based on the reports we have been getting, it is the casinos. This is where many violators are being seen,” Limpin said.
She said such gesture can be attributed to the fact that many casino operators in the country are foreigners.
She, however, insisted that casinos and other establishments need to abide by the existing laws of the country.
“They have to follow our laws here in the country. They are foreign-owned so they could be thinking that they are exempted. But they are not,” the anti-smoking advocate added.
Under the EO, smoking is strictly prohibited in centers of youth activity such as playgrounds, basketball courts, schools and other areas frequented by young people.
Likewise, smoking is not allowed in government facilities, modes of transport, malls and other public places.
Establishments, meanwhile, should have designated smoking areas (DSAs) that has a buffer zone wherein minors are not allowed and smoke of cigarettes should not go out from the DSAs.
In a previous interview, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said casinos are definitely among the places where smoking is prohibited since these are enclosed public places.
Despite this, the Department of Health said it is satisfied with the implementation of the nationwide smoking ban.
“In fairness, many are really implementing the EO. We can really see that many are following the smoking ban,” she said.