MANILA—President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s intention to make the country a hundred percent smoke-free in public places is never waning, according to Department of Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial .
“Actually, the President (Duterte) is really bent on implementing the EO. The instruction was really to pass an EO following the ordinance passed in Davao City,” Ubial said during a press briefing on the results of Global Tobacco Surveillance Survey (GTSS) held Friday at Hotel Rebrandt in Quezon City.
Ubial also said that she had submitted and presented the draft already of another EO (amended one) last March 6.
“However you know with an EO, there’s shall we say, process of alteration, betting, comments from all the legal and policy team of the President,” Ubial said adding that the EO was now in the finishing touches and that the President would sign it very soon.
When asked if there was a truth that the delays probably came from tobacco companies, she said that she did not think that tobacco companies in any way could influence the process.
She said that some of the factors for the delay might be attributed to the fact that the President had been busy on previous visits to other countries and engagement in activities like ASEAN Summits.
She added that the delays were just like any other normal process that usually happen whenever an EO is being awaited.
In comparison, she said that EO on Family Planning was then submitted by her office to the Office of the President in 2016 and signing was made last January 2017 or after four months after.
In the case for the awaited EO on 100 smoke-free Philippines, she said that it was barely two months only since she made the presentation on the amended EO and she believes that it will not take so long before it will be signed.