DepEd launches ‘EskweLA BAN sa Sigarilyo’

MANILA-- Nine days since the nationwide smoking ban took effect in the Philippines last July 23, the Department of Education (DepEd) launched on Tuesday the "EskweLA BAN sa Sigarilyo" project.

DepEd Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Alberto Muyot said this project is actually aligned with the national government's intensified efforts against smoking.

It may be recalled that the nationwide smoking ban or the Executive Order (EO) 26 prohibits smoking in enclosed public places and conveyances.

The agency said the EO also designates school principals to ensure schools are smoke-free, and that any tobacco product selling and promotion will not be allowed within 100 meters from the school's perimeter.

DepEd's project, in partnership with the Tobacco-Free Kinds Action Fund, is a mixture of the words "eskwela" (school), "laban" (fight) and "ban" of cigarrettes (sigarilyo).

To achieve this, DepEd is developing monitoring and reporting tools, as well as training manuals and campaign materials, which will be piloted in select schools until the end of 2017.

Select schools are located in Pasig, Makati, Batangas, Bulacan, Bataan and Pampanga, added DepEd.

For now, the project has its website, http://tobaccofreedeped.org. According to Ella Cecilia Nalipongiut, Director III, Bureau of Learner Support Services, the website's major feature is the Locator Map.

"Schools can use this Locator Map to monitor stores and establishments on their compliance," she said.

Meanwhile, Muyot said the agency also aims to increase public awareness on DepED Order no. 48, or the Policy Guidelines on Comprehensive Tobacco Control.

The DepEd Order no. 48 mandates the Child Protection Committee to monitor various tobacco control policies.

The agency said that to ensure the effective implementation of these policies, the agency is conducting information dissemination, collaborations, capacity building and cessation intervations.

Source: Philippine News Agency