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©ASH Philippines 2020

Tobacco Industry Interference and how it is countered in the Philippines

To market their product and entice long-term users, the tobacco industry utilizes their enormous wealth and resources to create an array of tactics that will influence and circumvent tobacco control efforts both locally and globally.

 

The tobacco industry use strategies such as direct and indirect political lobbying, financing of researches in favor with them in an attempt to affect the course of regulatory and policy making, engaging in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities as part of their public relations campaign. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes these covert agendas which is why the preamble of Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC) underscores the protection of tobacco control policies from the Tobacco Industry Interference (TII) which may take place anywhere along the chain of tobacco production, manufacturing and use with the purpose of hindering tobacco control effort.

 

The WHO-FCTC in its preamble recognizes “…the need to be alert to any efforts of the tobacco industry to undermine or subvert tobacco control efforts and the need to be informed of the activities of the tobacco industry that have a negative impact on tobacco control efforts.”

 

In line with the Article 5.3 of WHO-FCTC,  the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Health of the Philippines created the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2010-01  which particularly urges parties to protect the bureaucracy from the vested interests of the tobacco industry.

 

The CSC-DOH JMC 2010-01 serves as an ethical code of conduct for public officials and employees, regardless of status, in the national or local government including government-owned and controlled corporations, state colleges and universities from tobacco industry efforts that avoid, delay, and dilute the advancement of effective tobacco control policies and intervention.