On Thursday, December 7, 2023, at the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) Building in Mother Ignacia Corner Dr. Lazcano Street, Quezon City, the Philippine Smoke-Free Movement (PSFM) celebrated its Year-End Event under the theme “Cool ka Lungs! Celebrating 3 Years of Genuine Advocacy for Smoke-Free Environment.”
The event saw the participation of notable figures such as Dr. Anton Javier, Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Program Officer from Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA), Edwin Edgas Jose F. Magno, Pasig City Tobacco Control Officer, and Aurora Quilala, Deputy Executive Director of the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD). These esteemed individuals, along with other members and officers of PSFM, gathered to sign a manifesto expressing their support for smoke-free and vape-free environments.
The Department of Health (DOH) and over 15 leaders, including members of the Philippine Smoke-Free Movement (PSFM), pledged their support for comprehensive smoke-free and vape-free environments. The manifesto, signed during the PSFM’s 3rd anniversary, emphasized the need to protect public health, especially among the youth, and reduce the socio-economic costs of smoking and vaping.
Signatories called for the urgent passage of the Smoke-Free Bill (House Bill 5315) to strengthen tobacco regulations. Proposed measures include allocating 3% of the Local Health Budget to tobacco-control programs, expanding bans in public places, removing indoor smoking areas, and creating a Task Force at the local level.
The manifesto cautioned against tobacco companies’ manipulative practices to undermine pro-people policies and urged lawmakers to reject industry-sponsored studies. DOH emphasized its commitment to decreasing tobacco and vape use, reducing exposure, and enhancing smoking cessation services.
Kalinga Partylist Representative Irene Gay Saulog, author of HB 5315, expressed support for the movement, highlighting Congress’s efforts in building foundations for a smoke-free Philippines. She emphasized the need for continued collaboration and unwavering support for a healthier future.