Statement on the Alleged “Death” of House Bill 3364 on Picture-Based Health Warning in Tobacco Products

17 September 2008- The EcoWaste Coalition, a public interest network of groups working towards Zero Waste, chemical safety and toxics-free environment, is deeply saddened by the statement made by Hon. Rep. Eric Singson that “the bill is dead.” If this is true, we challenge our lawmakers, particularly the members of the House Committee on Health, to raise H.B. 3364 from the dead and prove to the Filipinos and to the entire world that the Congress has power over the tobacco pandemic.

Kung patay na ang House Bill 3364, hinahamon namin ang Kongreso na sagipin ito at bigyan ng CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) at tiyaking maipapasa ito sa lalong madaling panahon.

The visual health warnings on tobacco products as proposed under H.B. 3364 totally adhere with the overall objective of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which is “to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.”

As party to the Convention, we challenge the Government of the Philippines, particularly the House of Representatives and the Senate, to speed up the passage of the bill that will inform all Filipinos, especially the children and youth, about the addictive characteristics, health costs and threats to life caused by tobacco consumption and exposure to second-hand smoke through graphic visual warnings.

Sa pamamagitan ng mga litratong babala sa magkabilang bahagi ng kaha ng sigarilyo ay mabilis at epektibong maipapaalam sa ating mamamayan, laluna sa mga kabataan, ang masamang epekto ng paninigarilyo sa naninigarilyo at sa mga tao sa kanyang paligid.

Furthermore, we ask the Government to attend to the concerns of tobacco farmers, workers, and sellers by promoting and supporting economically viable alternatives in line with Article 17 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

We call on Rep. Singson to cease and desist from attacking the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance of the Philippines (FCAP). As a “representative” not only of the province of Ilocos Sur but of the entire Filipino people to the House of Representatives, we ask Rep. Singson not to hinder the enactment of H.B. 3364 and to redirect his energy for the common good.

Pakiusap po kay Congressman Singson at sa buong Kongreso: Sagipin ang kalusugan at kalikasan. Isabatas na ang litratong babala sa sigarilyo!

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 320, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 9290376