QUEZON CITY, Aug. 2 – “There is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the tobacco industry’s interests and public health policy interests.”
This was pointed out by Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) quoting Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC) as she called for continued support for the implementation of CSC-Department of Health (DOH) Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2010-01 or the “Protection of the Bureaucracy Against Tobacco Industry Interference.”
CSC Chairperson Bala explained that JMC No. 2010-01 provides specific guidelines for the Philippine bureaucracy’s interactions with the tobacco industry. For its part, the CSC is tasked with informing government employees of the policy against tobacco industry interference.
“It is a fulfillment of our country’s commitment to WHO-FCTC which aims to curb the global tobacco epidemic and to protect people’s fundamental right to good health by encouraging its signatories to impose stricter tobacco control measures,” added Chairperson Bala.
On July 29, 2016, the CSC and DOH will mark six years of enforcing public health policies against the tobacco industry. With the theme, “One Civil Service: A Celebration for Health and Integrity,” the celebration will be held at the CSC Central Office and will showcase the achievements of JMC No. 2010-01 since its issuance.
As of 2016, more than 200 national government agencies, local government units, state universities and colleges, and government-owned or controlled corporations in the Philippines have expressed support or implemented measures explicitly prohibiting their offices from interacting with the tobacco companies, retailers, and the like, unless such interactions are strictly necessary for their effective regulation and control.
The policy has also earned international recognition from WHO, the Southeast Asian Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA), Tobacco-Free Kids, and other institutions for being the first and only policy to protect government from the interference of the tobacco industry.
For more information on JMC No. 2010-01 and CSC’s tobacco control advocacy or to report violations, visit csc.gov.ph/smokefreecivilservice or call the Contact Center ng Bayan at 165-65. The public may also send SMS via 0908-8816565 or 0917-8398272 (TEXTCSC). (CSC)