Over 10,000 schools allowed to hold limited in-person classes – DepEd – UNTV News

Manila, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) has joined with the Department of Health (DOH) and medical organizations in the Philippines to call on President Rodrigo Duterte to veto the draft regulation of herbal products legislation. vaporized nicotine.

The Senate approved the bill in third and final reading in December 2021.

“As a government institution advocating for the welfare of young Filipinos, we are taking a stand against the so-called “anti-health” vaping bill, which will weaken the existing law and executive order against electronic vaping systems. nicotine delivery (ENDS) or electronic. Nicotine-free delivery systems (ENNDS) commonly referred to as e-cigarettes or “vapes,” DepEd said in a statement.

If passed, the DepEd said the bill would erode important provisions already set forth in Republic Act No. 11467 and Executive Order No. 106, both signed by the President in 2020.

“The law and executive order already regulate electronic nicotine/non-nicotine delivery systems, heated tobacco products, and other novel tobacco products,” he said.

“In particular, the bill will lower the access restriction age from 21 – as currently set by RA 11467 and EO 106 – to 18,” he added.

According to the DepEd information system for the 2020-2021 school year, at least 870,000 learners in the basic education sector were 18 years old, while nearly 1.1 million high school learners were between 18 and 20 years old.

“That’s the number of learners who will be legally allowed to market the harmful products once the bill becomes law,” he said.

“We teach in schools how the part of the brain that’s responsible for rational decisions doesn’t fully develop until you’re in your twenties. Before this age, young people are very likely to engage in risky behaviors such as substance use and abuse. If there will be any attempt to change existing laws, it should be to raise the age of access to harmful products, not to lower it,” he added.

DepEd also noted that the bill permits online sales and permits flavors other than regular tobacco and menthol, the only two flavors currently permitted by law. Additionally, the bill is positioned to “reduce the harm caused by smoking.”

In contrast, the World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that “ENDS are undoubtedly harmful” and that flavors appealing to children and advertising on social media platforms are among the tactics employed by the industries. tobacco and related products to attract younger generations.

“This is a big concern for us at DepEd. A Philippine Pediatric Society study of our DepEd learners in grades 7-9 found that 6.7% “have tried and use e-cigarettes“, and that the top reasons for vaping among our learners were online accessibility (32%), varied flavors (22%) and the belief that e-cigarettes are safer than tobacco (17%),” he said.

The bill also transfers product regulation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the Department of Commerce and Industry.

“We believe the FDA is best placed to regulate harmful products, consistent with evolving medical and scientific studies, as currently outlined in RA 11467,” DepEd said.

“As we continue to implement a comprehensive school tobacco control program to protect the health of learners, DepEd hopes that our leaders and legislators will consistently champion healthy living among our young people,” he said. he adds.

The Philippine Medical Association said earlier that the purchase and use of vape or e-cigarettes should be subject to medical prescription to regulate its use, especially among young people.

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