Articles worth reading

Parañaque modifies liquor ban 

account_balanceParañaque access_time5 days ago

Parañaque City issued a public advisory on September 9 on the implementation of a modified liquor ban up to September 30 in the city, according to a report by Manila Bulletin. Mayor Edwin Olivarez said under the modified liquor ban, the ...

'Kiko'  intensifies as it nears Luzon 

account_balanceMetro Manila access_time5 days ago

Typhoon Kiko slightly intensified as it continues to move towards extreme northern Luzon, and also enhances the southwest monsoon (habagat), the weather bureau said in a report by Philippine News Agency. "Kiko" now packs maximum sustained ...

Duterte leaves Ivermectin use to doctor, patient 

account_balanceMetro Manila access_time5 days ago

President Rodrigo Duterte has left to the medical professionals and their patients the decision to use anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin to prevent or treat the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), according to a report by Philippine News Agency. ...

Metro News

Consumers ask Duterte to cut foreign money influencing FDA regulations

account_balanceMetro News account_circleCarlo Cameron chat_bubble_outline0 Comments

Filipino consumers asked President Rodrigo Duterte to stop foreign vested interest groups from influencing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which is tasked to draft regulation on vape and heated tobacco products (HTPs) in the Philippines.

The Nicotine Consumers Union of the Philippines (NCUP) made the call after the Philippines FDA admitted to have received grants from foreign anti-tobacco advocacy groups The Union and Bloomberg Initiative.

“We appeal to President Duterte to rescind the foreign grants received by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration which cast a dark cloud on the agency’s role as an independent regulator and protector of public health,” said NCUP president Anton Israel.


The FDA admitted to have received grants from foreign groups when confronted by Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing during an online public consultation on e-cigarettes and HTPs. This prompted Deputy Speaker and Ilocos Sur Rep. Deogracias Victor Savellano to move for the suspension of the consultation, and call for a full-blown House probe on the matter citing conflict of interest.

 “The FDA receiving money from foreign vested interest groups is a clear violation of the code of conduct for public officials which is a ground for the filing of anti-graft cases with the Ombudsman,” Israel reiterated his group’s earlier pronouncement. 

They previously threatened to file an anti-graft case with the Ombudsman “if the FDA ignores the views of legitimate and impacted stakeholders and proceeds with the adoption of an administrative order lifted from the playbook of their anti-tobacco patrons.” 

Israel said stakeholders trust the President’s uncompromising stand against any form of graft and corruption.

“He has many times called on government officials to faithfully serve the public without fear or favor. From the start, the FDA has shown favor to its foreign benefactors to the detriment of Filipino consumers and interests,” he said.

Clarisse Virgino, the Philippine representative to the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) said, “It comes now as no surprise that the Administrative Order drafted by the FDA, if adopted, would virtually constitute a de-facto ban on vapes and HTPs. The FDA agenda is crystal clear. For the 16 million Filipino smokers, the only option is to quit or die. To the 1 million vapers, go back to smoking cigarettes.”

Virgino noted that solicitation or acceptance of gifts is prohibited under Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, especially if it involves a piece of regulation. 

She said they were “shocked and aghast by the admission of the FDA that they received money from the Union and Bloomberg Initiative. These groups are known advocates of prohibition for all forms of tobacco products including better alternatives to cigarettes like e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products.” 

“This is simply a case of American businessmen spurned in their own country dictating on a Philippine regulatory body what rules it should implement and how they should regulate a particular industry in complete disregard of science and consumer rights,” Israel said. 

“It is clear that funds received from anti-vaping groups would jeopardize FDA’s treatment of tobacco harm reduction products such as e-cigarettes and HTPs,” Virgino said.

Following the suspension of public hearing, consumer, advocacy and industry groups also expressed dismay with the FDA’s acceptance of the grants from The Union and Bloomberg, and its handling of what some described as a “moro-moro” public consultation.

"The imposed limitations during the public consultation made it challenging to discuss extensively and thoroughly the crucial provisions of the proposed guidelines. In coming up with a regulation that has the potential to positively change the lives of 16 million Filipino smokers, we, the stakeholders, were expecting a more transparent and participatory process," Peter Paul Dator of Vapers PH said.    

Dator said “all we ask for are transparency and inclusion in the discussion because we, the consumers, are the ones directly affected by these guidelines, and not the pharmaceutical or medical groups who have no stake in the issue.” 

Joey Dulay, president of the Philippine E-Cigarette Industry Association said during the public consultation that they were saddened to hear that the guidelines were “based on the recommendations of only the medical NGOs. We are (vapers and industry) the ones most affected with these guidelines and should be heard and considered also.” 

“E-cigarettes and heated tobacco products are not pharmaceutical products and should not be regulated as such. What we need is a fair and risk-proportionate regulation that will encourage smokers to reduce their exposure to smoke which is the one that causes all these diseases,” Virgino said.

The groups called for an impartial and reasonable regulations based on scientific evidence.

Dr. Lorenzo Mata Jr., president of the advocacy group Quit For Good said, “Science, and there is an abundance of curated and peer-reviewed studies out there, should be the basis of regulation. Not political or ideological agenda.” 

Mata said they have been advising the FDA that regulation should be based on the risk profile of products. 

“The greater the risk to one’s health, the stricter the regulation, not the other way around. The World Health Organization has in fact conceded before the Philippine Congress that e-cigarettes are substantially less harmful than cigarettes. So why regulate them the same as cigarettes?” he said. 

“The vaping industry is being treated unfairly. We are not the enemy here. Combustible cigarettes that bring 88,000 deaths per year are our common enemy. Why is vaping treated worse than smoking?” Dulay asked. 

Dator said they hope that should there be succeeding dialogues, “the FDA officials will open their minds, listen to scientific evidence, and do their job of regulating, and not restricting the use of these novel products, as our existing laws intended."

date_rangeDate Published
10 months ago
shareShare article
folder_openArticle tags
content_copyCategorized under

Share your thoughts with us

Related Articles

Las Pinas City Mayor Imelda Aguilar

Las Pinas offers free home Covid-19 tests for elderly, PWDs

account_balanceLas Piñas chrome_reader_mode2 days ago

Las Pinas is offering home collection of specimens for COVID-19 test for senior citizens and persons with comorbidites, especially those who got exposed to infected household members, according to a report by Manila Bulletin. Mayor Imelda Aguilar sa...

Belmonte meets with economic board 

account_balanceQuezon City chrome_reader_mode1 day ago

Nagpulong ang Quezon City Economic Development and Investment Board (EDIB) sa pangunguna ni Mayor Joy Belmonte upang pag-usapan ang mga polisya at hakbang tungo sa pagpapaunlad ng ekonomiya ng lungsod. Iprinisinta naman ni Quezon City Local Economic...


QC asks residents to avoid 3 Cs

account_balanceQuezon City chrome_reader_mode9 hours ago

The Quezon City government on Wednesday reminded its residents and establishments to avoid the "three Cs" to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). “All establishments must, to the greatest extent feasible, impleme...

Duterte leaves Ivermectin use to doctor, patient 

account_balanceMetro Manila chrome_reader_mode5 days ago

President Rodrigo Duterte has left to the medical professionals and their patients the decision to use anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin to prevent or treat the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), according to a report by Philippine News Agency. ...

Let's Stay Connected Like us on our Facebook page.
Click on the article to continue reading
Quezon City adopts no contact apprehension system Red Cross pushes saliva test Vaccines from COVAX to arrive in Q1 Makati Shangri-La to close doors on Feb. 1 Cities in NCR to start vaccination simultaneously Mother, girlfriend of Filipino infected with UK variant also test positive Send Press Release MNC Facebook Page MNC Twitter Page MNC Instagram Page LGU Spotlight Barangay Front Business Sports Entertainment Metro Gen Metro Feature