NVAP expects tobacco industry's full compliance with the graphic health warnings law implementation

February 15, 2016 11:56 pm 

By Leilani S. Junio

MANILA, Feb. 14 (PNA) — The New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP) said on Sunday they are looking forward to the tobacco industry's full compliance with the Graphic Health Warnings (GHW) Law following the issuance of its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).

“While the non-availability of the IRR does not prevent the law from being implemented, we at NVAP are, however, relieved of this development. We expect the tobacco industry to comply with the law and we enjoin our authorities to make sure that they abide with it,” said Emer Rojas, NVAP president and Global Cancer ambassador.

“We congratulate the Department of Health (DOH) and everyone who worked very hard to champion public health against the deadly effects of smoking. Once again, we were able to prove that no giant is too big if we join hands and stay the course,” Rojas said.

Rojas said he is happy that after all the challenges such as “delays,” the law is now enforceable.

"With the graphic health warnings, Filipinos, especially the youth and children, will be provided with effective warnings against smoking. We hope to see more smokers choosing to quit and children avoiding to start nicotine addiction because they don’t want to end up like the person they saw on the cigarette packages,” he added.

Republic Act No. 10643 or the GHW Law imposes a maximum penalty of Php2 million or a five-year imprisonment and revocation of business permit against manufacturers, exporters and distributors of tobacco products who violate the law.

A fine of Php500,00 will be slapped against first-time offenders while a second offense will be met with a Php1 million penalty.

A foreign national who is an officer of a manufacturing, distributing, or exporting company found guilty of violating the Act will face deportation after serving jail sentence and paying appropriate fines.

On the other hand, retailers will face fines of Php10,000 for the first offense; Php50,000 for the second offense; and Php100,000 for the third offense or one year jail term.

The tobacco industry could no longer use the absence of the implementing rules and regulations to delay the implementation of the Graphic Health Warnings law as they are now out and enforceable, the NVAP said.

Aside from the DOH, the IRR was signed by representatives from other government agencies such the Departments of Finance (DOF), Trade and Industry (DTI), Justice (DOJ), Education (DepEd), Science and Technology (DOST), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Agriculture (DA), as well as the National Tobacco Administration (NTA). (PNA)

SCS/LSJ

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