How can LGUs comply with international public health treaty on tobacco? Enact an ordinance
The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) became a domestic law in the Philippines on 4 September 2005. As party to the FCTC, the Philippines must comply with its obligations in good faith. Republic Act (RA) No. 9211 or the "Tobacco Regulatory Act of 2003" contains some provisions not in accord with the FCTC, thus it has to be amended.
LGUs can enact anti-tobacco ordinance in accord with FCTC
The Local Government Units (LGUs), by virtue of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7160 or the Local Government Code, in promoting general welfare of their constituents, can enact anti-tobacco ordinances in accord with FCTC. LGUs can enact a local ordinance that is more restrictive than the national law, if this is necessary to the needs of the locality. This would enable the LGUs to be more responsive to the needs of their constituents.
The ordinance can help carry out the provisions of RA 9211, and the same time fill the gaps in implementing and enforcing R.A. 9211. It strengthens the regulation of tobacco use in communities, and helps promote good health.
The LGUs will have a sense of ownership on this anti-tobacco ordinance, thereby making it a priority for implementation and enforcement to ensure the good health and well-being of their constituents. Moreover, fines and penalties for violations of the ordinance go to the LGU funds.
A template for the anti-tobacco ordinance
A template for the anti-tobacco ordinance has been developed, and can be used by the LGUs in their respective areas of responsibilities. This is the ordinance prohibiting the use, sale, distribution and advertisements of cigarettes and other tobacco products in certain places, imposing penalties for violations thereof and providing funds therefore, and for other purposes.
Training module on legal issues about tobacco control
A training module for legal issues on tobacco control can guide LGUs in the implementation of FCTC. This is a component of the "WHO Training Course for LGU Decision-Makers and Implementers."
Conduct local survey on tobacco control
The Global Tobacco Surveillance Studies(GTSS) are done at the national level in the country. Results of GTSS can not be disaggregated at the local government unit level. WHO suggests that a baseline survey be conducted at the municipal or city level prior to enactment of an ordinance or while an ordinance is being enacted.
A Core Adult Tobacco Survey (CATS) household-based questionnaire was developed for this purpose. It was patterned after the Global Adult Tobacco Survey questionnaire, comprising nine (9) core questions.
The CATS questionnaire is easy to administer. Using simple random sampling design, the study requires only a minimum of 100 households for the whole city or municipality. All household members, 15 years old and above, present at the time of the interview shall be included in the survey. Other statistical assumptions include: 50% estimate of true proportion, 10% sampling error and 95% confidence interval.