PASIG CITY, November 24, 2017 – Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones emphasized that DepEd’s cooperation with the private sector as part of its 10-point agenda does not include partnership with tobacco companies and non-government organizations that receive funding from tobacco companies.

“Our partnership with the private sector is aimed at fulfilling DepEd’s vision and agenda. We cannot consider as partners those who undermine our efforts to fulfill our agenda, including the promotion of healthy environments in schools through our tobacco control policies,” Briones said.

Briones made the statement in time for the release of the Tobacco Industry Interference Index Philippine Report 2017 published by HealthJustice Philippines that showed that “there has been no decrease in so-called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities by the tobacco industry or its groups.” The country report presents the status of the implementation in the country of Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), which was ratified by the Philippines in 2005. Article 5.3 aims to protect public health policies from tobacco industry interference or the broad array of tactics and strategies utilized by the tobacco industry to influence or interfere with the setting and implementation of tobacco control policies.

“I enjoin the Department to be vigilant to have no dealings with the tobacco industry, so also not to violate existing tobacco control policies,” Briones added.