Dr. Juan Flavier..
September 8 Dr. Juan Flavier, sought on Tuesday, September 7th a declaratory relief from the Makati Regional Trial Court over an administrative order (AO) which required tobacco
manufacturers to put graphic warnings on the harmful effects of tobacco products on cigarette packs.
Background:The petitioners want the court to clarify the extent of the Department of Health’s authority to issue an AO that seeks to promote the people’s right to health information.
April 7, 2010 - Philippines - DoH pushes for picture warnings on cigarette packs..
May 25, 2010 - Philippines - Department of Health wants health warnings on cigarette packs within 90 days..
June 4, 2010 - Philippines - tobacco firms claim graphic warnings on cigarette packs are illegal..
July 7, 2010 - Philippines - tobacco industry has obtained temporary relief from placing graphic warnings on cigarette packs..
August 23, 2010 - Philippines - tobacco companies don't want warnings on cigarette packs..
August 26, 2010 - Philippines - injunction regarding picture health warnings on cigarette packs nationwide..
“(We) pray that the Honorable Court make a judicial determination of the construction of the Tobacco Regulation Act in relation to DOH AO No. 2010-0013 and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and its guidelines,” they said in their 40-page petition.
In separate cases, two tobacco companies have managed to secure injunctions from some, but not from all courts, by saying that the DOH could not issue an administrative order promoting the public’s right to health because of a provision in the Tobacco Regulation Act (TRA).
“The pivotal issue in this case is whether Section 13 (g) of the TRA precludes the DOH from issuing the AO,” said lawyers Leo Battad and Jose Jose of the UP Office of Legal Aid, counsel for the petitioners.
Section 13 (g) of the TRA requires that no other printed warnings, except the health warning and the message required shall be placed on cigarette packs.
In the petition, the lawyers argued that Section 13(G) of the TRA did not curtail the right and duty of the DOH to issue regulations protecting the right to health and health information through AO 2010-0013. They added that the requirement of graphic health information under the AO complements Section 13(G) of the TRA.
Reference: Flavier, anti-smoke groups file case to push graphic warnings on cigarette packs by Tina Santos, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 9/7/2010.
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