The Department of Education issued DepEd Memorandum No. 126, s. 2017 early this week to disseminate Executive Order No. 26, s. 2017, Providing for the Establishment of Smoke-Free Environments in Public and Enclosed Places.

Under EO 26, s. 2017, “person-in-charge” refers to the president/manager in case of a company, corporation, partnership or association, the owner/proprietor/operator in case of a single proprietorship, or the administrator in case of government or private property, facility, office or building, and the city/municipal schools superintendent, school president, dean or principal in case of schools.”

Section 5 of EO 26, s. 2017 enumerates the duties and obligations of persons-in-charge, such as:

  • Prominently post and display the “No Smoking” signage, in the locations most visible to the public in the areas where smoking is prohibited. At the very least, the “No Smoking” signage must be posted at the entrance to the area, which shall be at least 8 x 11 inches in size, where the symbol shall occupy no less than 60% of the signage, while the remaining 40% of the signage shall show the pertinent information, as follows:

  • For person-in-charge of schools, public playgrounds, youth hostels and recreational facilities for minors, including those frequented by minors, post the following statement in a clear and conspicuous manner:SELLING, ADVERTISING AND PROMOTING CIGARETTES OR OTHER TOBACCO PRODUCTS NOT ALLOWED WITHIN 100 METERS ANY POINT IN THE PERIMETER OF [name of SCHOOL/PLAYGROUND/FACILITY FOR MINORS/ETC]
  • For persons-in-charge of schools, public playground, youth hostels and recreational facilities for minors, including those frequented by minors, to report to the nearest Smoke-Free Task Force of the concerned city or municipality any tobacco product selling, advertising and/or promotion located within 100 meters from its perimeter.
  • Establish internal procedure and measures through which this Order shall be implemented and enforced within the area of which he or she is in charge. The includes compliance with the smoking, sales, distribution, advertising and promotions restrictions (e.g. warning smoking violators in banned areas and requesting them to stop smoking), and if they refuse to comply, asking them to leave the premises, and if they still refuse to comply, reporting the incident to the City/Municipal Health Office, the nearest peace officer, or to any member of the Smoke-Free Task Force.
  • Ensure that all employees in the establishment are aware of this Order and the procedure and measures for implementing and enforcing it.
  • For all signage required to be posted… provide for versions of them in the local dialect or in English.

Section 6 of EO 26, s. 2017 cites that “persons-in-charge who knowingly allow, abet, authorize or tolerate the prohibited acts enumerated in Section 3” [of the EO] “or who otherwise fail to fulfil the duties and obligations enumerated in Section 5” “shall be liable and be punished in accordance with the governing provisions of RA No. 9211 and other applicable laws.”

Download the DM here.