President Rodrigo Duterte is turning to another battle, aside from his fight against illegal drugs: smoking.
Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said Tuesday she hopes Duterte can sign the draft executive order banning smoking in public nationwide before the end of the month.
Ubial told a Senate budget hearing her department is pushing for the ban to start before a law providing for graphic health warnings on tobacco products is fully implemented on Nov. 4.
She says Duterte’s directive to her was to have a 100 percent smoke-free environment similar to Davao city, where he was previously mayor. Under the proposed order, provinces and towns will be asked to issue ordinances to enforce the ban, stipulating penalties for violators.