May 24, 2017

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) expressed its support to Executive Order No. 26 which provides for the establishment of smoke-free environments in public and enclosed places natiowide, and reiterated its 100% smoke-free policy which prohibits smoking in the premises, buildings, and grounds of government agencies.

The CSC lauded the signing of E.O No. 26 which prohibits smoking in public places whether indoor or outdoor. E.O 26 defined public places as, “all places, fixed or mobile, that are accessible or open to the public or places for collective use, regardless of ownership or right to access, including but not limited to schools, workplaces, government facilities, establishments that provide food and drinks, accommodation, merchandise, professional services, entertainment or other services.”

The EO also includes outdoor spaces where facilities are available for public or where a crowd of people would gather, such as, but not limited to, playgrounds, sports grounds or centers, church grounds, health/hospital compounds, transportation terminals, markets, resorts, walkways/sidewalks, entrance ways, waiting areas and the like.

The establishment of a designated smoking area (DSA) or “an area of a building or conveyance where smoking may be allowed,” is not mandatory. If a building or establishment will not put up a DSA, it will be declared as 100% smoke-free.

For those with DSA, E.O No. 26 underscores strict compliance with the set standards under Section 4. For instance, the DSA should have highly visible and prominently displayed no smoking signage, graphic health warnings on the effects of tobacco use, and prohibition of entry of persons below 18 years old. The EO also stipulates that a building or conveyance can only have one DSA.

The CSC is a staunch supporter of tobacco control policies that aim to eliminate cigarette smoking in the workplace and to prevent tobacco companies from interfering with policy-making in the public sector. CSC Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 17, s. 2009 or the Smoking Prohibition Based on 100% Smoke-Free Policy prohibits smoking in or on the premises, buildings, and grounds of government agencies providing health, education and/or social welfare and development services such as hospitals, health centers, schools, and universities, colleges among others. Designated smoking areas are also not allowed.

The CSC has also partnered with the Department of Health (DOH) in issuing Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No.  2010-01 on the “Protection of the Bureaucracy Against Tobacco Industry Intervention”.

JMC No.  2010-01 provides specific guidelines for the bureaucracy’s interactions with the tobacco industry, particularly in prohibiting government officials and employees from doing unnecessary interaction with the tobacco industry. Prohibited acts include providing preferential treatment such as receipt of incentives, and soliciting or accepting any donation or favor from the tobacco industry in connection with any operation or transaction of the agency.

The CSC’s tobacco control initiatives are anchored on the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC), which was adopted by the 85th World Assembly on May 21, 2003 and ratified in the Philippines on April 25, 2005. CSC MC 17 is part of the country’s efforts to enforce Article 8 of the FCTC, which aims to protect the public from the perils of secondhand tobacco smoke.

Government officials and employees are reminded that violating MC 17 and JMC 2010-01 is a ground for disciplinary action pursuant to Rule XIV (Discipline) of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. 292.

For more information on the CSC’s tobacco control advocacy, visit csc.gov.ph/smokefreecivilservice. The public can report violations of MC No. 17 or JMC No.  2010-01 to the 8888 Citizens’ Complaints Hotline.

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