President Rodrigo Duterte is poised to sign an executive order (EO) banning smoking in all public places nationwide.
Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said the draft EO is being reviewed by the President’s legal team.
“It has to be aligned with the other laws and directives. So ‘yun ang pinag-aaralan [So that’s what is being reviewed],” Ubial told Palace reporters.
Ubial said the executive order was patterned after Davao City’s anti-smoking ordinance, which was implemented when Duterte was mayor of the city.
Duterte, a former smoker, used to chase smoking drivers and once forced a tourist who refused to observe the smoking ban to swallow his cigarette butt.
Before he left for Brunei on Sunday, Duterte warned that smoking will soon be banned in public places.
The President said smokers will have to go out of a building to smoke.
“If you want to smoke, find a place where it is allowed. Now, I’ve always been against building a structure inside just to accommodate smokers. That ain’t the way,” Duterte said. CATHERINE S. VALENTE