11 April 2012
Sen.Pia cited at HealthJustice Awards
Senator Pia S. Cayetano has been recognized for her legislative work seeking to further tighten government regulations on tobacco products at the recent HealthJustice awards.
Organized by the public health policy group HealthJustice, the awards are given out to individuals and groups who have made noteworthy contributions to efforts to protect public policy from interference by the tobacco industry.
Cayetano, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, was cited for pushing for the passage of Senate Bill 2340 which mandates cigarette manufacturers to print graphic health warnings on their products to inform consumers of the many hazards of smoking.
The lady senator also delivered a privilege speech in January to deplore various violations of the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 (Republic Act 9211) and poor enforcement of crucial provisions of the law.
Other recipients of this year’s HealthJustice awards include:
• Department of Health and Civil Service Commission for issuing ‘Joint Memorandum Circular 2010-001 for Protecting the Bureaucracy from Tobacco Industry Interference’;
• Department of Education for issuing an order prohibiting public school officials and personnel from accepting contributions from or entering into partnerships with the tobacco industry;
• Food and Drug Administration for asserting its regulatory authority over tobacco products, presently being challenged in court by the Philippine Tobacco Institute;
• Metro Manila Development Authority for its groundbreaking smoke-free policy enforcement campaign in Metro Manila;
• LTFRB for a smoke-free memo that rejects partnerships with entities representing the interests of the tobacco industry;
• Local government of Capiz province for a manifesto of 17 municipalities condemning tobacco industry interference with smoke-free policies;
• City government of Balanga for rejecting Christmas gifts from Philip Morris lawyers and a partnership with the Knowledge Channel, a known Philip Morris partner;
• CSC Regional Office V and DOH Center for Health Development in Region V for strongly arguing against the participation of tobacco companies in the hearing of a smoke-free ordinance in Albay;
• TV news show ‘Bandila’ of ABS-CBN for journalist Gretchen Malaladʼs report which exposed that the person who sued the MMDA for its smoke-free campaign had been promised payment by tobacco company Philip Morris in exchange for filing the case; and
• Dakila Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism for their awareness-raising activities on tobacco industry interference for youth and community participation.
HealthJustice also gave special citations to several individuals including former DOH Secretary and Senator Juan Flavier, and fellow former DOH secretaries Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, Dr. Esperanza Cabral, Dr. Alberto Romualdez, Dr. Alfredo Bengzon and Francisco Duque (now CSC Chairman). Former DOH Undersecretary Atty. Alexander Padilla and Father Robert Reyes were also cited.
It should be noted that HealthJustice itself recently received the Bloomberg Award for Global Tobacco Control at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Singapore last March 22.
HealthJustice President Dr. Daniel Tan, who received the award from New York City Mayor and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg said giving out the HealthJustice awards was also their group’s way of sharing the prestigious award to their fellow advocates to work towards a healthy and tobacco-free society. #
Photo: Some of the recipients of this year’s HealthJustice awards