The Civil Service Commission (CSC) conducted the Accountability Seminar on Tobacco Industry Interference or ASTII on June 17-18, 2015 at Villa Caceres Hotel, Naga City, Camarines Sur, in order to further orient government officials and employees about the CSC-Department of Health Joint Memorandum Circular 2010-01 (CSC-DOH JMC 2010-01) or the Protection of the Bureaucracy Against Tobacco Industry Interference. It was attended by Mayor Ronnie Magana of Talisay, Camarines Norte, Legal and Human Resources Officers of selected local government units in Region V, and selected personnel from the Department of Education-Camarines Sur Division.
This effort is in line with the CSC Project entitled “Strengthening the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Article 5.3 Implementation in the Philippine Bureaucracy.” Part of this Project aims to implement the CSC-DOH JMC 2010-01 which prohibits all government officials and employees from interacting with the tobacco industry except when strictly necessary for the latter’s effective regulation, supervision, and control. The said policy mainly aims to protect the bureaucracy against tobacco industry interference, or tactics and strategies used by the tobacco industry to interfere with the setting and implementing of tobacco control measures.
Under the JMC, prohibited acts include providing preferential treatment such as incentives and exemptions to the tobacco industry, and soliciting or accepting any donation or favor from the tobacco industry in connection with any operation or transaction of the agency.
The CSC, as the central human resource institution of the bureaucracy, continues its initiative in implementing smoke free government offices. In 2009, the CSC released Memorandum Circular No. 17 reiterating its commitment to have a 100-percent smoke-free bureaucracy. And in 2010, the CSC, with the DOH, issued the JMC 2010-01 which the CSC believes to be helpful in securing transparency and integrity in creating and implementing tobacco control policies throughout the bureaucracy. These are in line with the efforts of the Philippines to meet its obligation under the World Health Organization-Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) which was ratified by the Philippine Senate in 2005.