MANILA — The support of the local government units (LGUs) is key in the strict implementation of the no-smoking policy in schools, an official of the Department of Education (DepEd) said on Wednesday.
Education Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that while DepEd instructs principals to fully implement the policy in their schools, they request community heads to help monitor the selling of cigarettes in sari-sari and convenience stores near the schools.
“Outside the premises of the schools, we seek the cooperation and support of LGUs and communities to implement the policy,” she said.
Since the policy states that “no one should be smoking inside the school,” Sevilla added they also urge the teachers to help the department with its implementation.
“We encourage teachers to be good models not just in terms of smoking but also in setting good morals and values, right conduct, proper decorum, professionalism,” she said.
Apart from seeking the help of LGUs and communities, DepEd has continued with its EskweLA BAN sa Sigarilyo project for the school year 2018-2019 in line with the observance of the National No to Smoking Month.
“Yes, we’re continuing the project. We also did information dissemination (about it) during Brigada Eskwela,” she said.
The project aims to increase public awareness on no-smoking policy under DepEd Order number 48 series of 2016 or the Policy and Guidelines on Comprehensive Tobacco Control.
The order includes prohibitions on smoking in schools; the sale and advertisement of tobacco products within the 100-meter perimeter of schools; and receiving sponsorships from the tobacco industry and other unnecessary interactions with the tobacco industry.
The project also aims to build the capacity of schools so they can effectively take a stand against tobacco through information, education, and communication, cessation interventions, collaborations, partnerships, linkages, capacity building, reporting and monitoring.
On Aug. 1, 2017, DepEd launched EskweLA BAN sa Sigarilyo in partnership with the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund.
All public schools are expected to be part of the project starting this month based on DepEd’s announcement last April.