“Tobacco kills nearly six million people each year, of whom more than 5 million are users and ex-users and more than 600,000 are non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke,” according to the World Health Organization.
The Civil Service Commission (CSC), as the central human resource institution of the bureaucracy, took the initiative to implement smoking prohibitions. It was in 1991, when the CSC issued Resolution No. 91-787 prohibiting smoking in government premises, except in designated smoking areas. And in 2009, CSC released Memorandum Circular No. 17 reiterating its commitment to have a 100% smoke-free bureaucracy. Then in 2010, the CSC and Department of Health (DOH) issued a first-of-its-kind joint memorandum circular known as the Joint DOH and CSC MC 2010-01 on the “Protection of the Bureaucracy Against Tobacco Industry Intervention” which, among other measures, provides specific guidelines for interactions with the tobacco industry.
Guided by these laws, the CSC initiated the project on RACE TOWARDS A SMOKE-FREE CIVIL SERVICE: Implementation of CSC MC 17, s. 2009 and Salient Features of Joint DOH and CSC MC 2010-01. Since 2009, the Commission has conducted a series of seminars and trainings, one of which was the Capacity Building Seminar held in Baguio City last February 22-23, 2012. This was participated by the CSC Regional Offices in Luzon and by the DOH pool of trainers. The first day was more of lecture and group discussions on the mentioned MCs by notable speakers from CSC, DOH and Health Justice. The participants were put in the hot seat when each one was given three minutes to discuss a topic assigned to them and critiquing by the facilitators followed. The last day focused on the planning and implementation of the MCs in the respective field of the participants. The RACE is on for a SMOKE-FREE bureaucracy.