05 Jul 2010
Two state departments in the Philippines have joined forces to prevent the tobacco industry’s interference in the country’s public health initiatives.
The tobacco industry’s tactics to meddle with tobacco control policies and their implementation in the country pose the largest obstacle to public health in the Philippines.
To combat this problem, the Philippines’ Civil Service Commission and Department of Health recently issued a Joint Order to Protect the Bureaucracy against Tobacco Industry Interference. This order is consistent with Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
The Order will help alert and inform government personnel about the tobacco industry’s attempts to interfere with tobacco control.
Key features of the Order are:
• All government personnel are prohibited from interacting with the tobacco industry unless it’s necessary for the industry’s regulation, supervision or control. Any interactions must be completed in a transparent manner.
• Government personnel involved in setting and implementing public health policies must inform their respective agencies if they plan to work for the tobacco industry after leaving their posts.
• All government agencies must report any tobacco industry interactions or offers of donations. The agencies must also amend their Codes of Conduct according to prescribed provisions in the Order.
• Any violation of the Order is a ground for administrative disciplinary action.