Health and environmental groups slammed tobacco advertising through
fiesta banderitas at a barangay in Makati City as a deceptive marketing
practice in violation of the country’s tobacco regulation law.
In a press statement, the Framework Convention on Tobacco
Control Alliance, Philippines (FCAP) and the EcoWaste Coalition deplored the buntings
of Mighty Corporation, maker of Mighty cigarettes, whose corporate office is
located in Sultana St., Barangay Olympia, Makati City.
Republic Act No. 9211, or the Tobacco Regulation Act of
2003, which regulates the packaging, use, sale, distribution and advertisements
of tobacco products, specifically bans outdoor advertising materials beginning 1 July 2007, except inside the premises of
point-of-sale retail establishments.
Tobacco advertising, under R.A. 9211, “specifically
refer(s) to any messages and images promoting smoking, the purchase or use of
cigarette or tobacco trademarks brand names, design and manufacturer’s names.”
“Such evident breach of the tobacco advertising ban
undermines our nation’s efforts to prevent tobacco use and addiction that is
killing 10 Filipinos every hour. It is
totally disgusting and unconscionable,” said pulmonologist Dr. Maricar Limpin, Executive Director of
According to FCAP, Philippines has an estimated 17
million smokers and an average of 10 tobacco-related deaths every hour from
diseases such as cancer and emphysema.
“With these shocking figures of bad health and death, we
need to ensure that the law is faithfully enforced and public health is
prioritized and upheld over and above commercial profits,” Dr. Limpin
A photo investigation conducted by the EcoWaste Coalition
revealed that Abeja, Barasoain, Colmena, Constancia, Hiwaga, Honradez, J.B. Roxas, Kakarong, Malolos,
Novaliches, Obrero, Pateros, Sultana and Trabajo Streets in Barangay Olympia
are decorated with “Mighty” buntings in time for the barangay fiesta on May 18.
“Like FCAP, we abhor this blatant use of the barangay
fiesta for tobacco advertising in residential streets that obviously seek to
promote tobacco consumption by people of all ages and gender for increased
sales,” said Aileen Lucero,National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“Apart from the repulsive use of the festive occasion to
advertise tobacco, we reject single-use buntings that only add to the volume
and toxicity of post-fiesta garbage,” she added.
The groups urged the Civil Service Commission to look
into the matter to determine possible breach of the CSC-DOH Joint Memorandum
Circular No. 2010-01, which seeks to protect the bureaucracy against tobacco
The groups further urged the Department of Interior and
Local Government to issue a circular that will reiterate and remind local
government units to comply with the ban on tobacco advertising and the CSC-DOH
Joint MC 2010-01.