Priests urged to help in anti-smoking drive

Priests urged to help in anti-smoking drive

A man blows cigarette smoke in Manila. MAX REMPILLO

MANILA- A Church official called on priests to actively help in the campaign against smoking in their own parishes as the government orders a public ban on smoking.

Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the bishops’ public affairs committee, said the Church has a role to play to protect the health of the parishioners.

“Parishes would have to constantly remind parishioners about the law and ban smoking within church premises,” Secillano said.

The priest suggested that parishes can also put up posters and tarpaulins to remind the faithful about the smoking ban.

“If parish priests would like to do it, they can initiate. But it’s not imposed on them,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed the executive order banning the use of tobacco, including electronic cigarettes in public places, including church grounds, nationwide.

The policy also prohibits anyone under 18 from using, buying, and selling cigarettes or tobacco products.

“It’s a good law. It has health and environmental benefits. Let’s hope that it will be strictly implemented,” Secillano said. Max Rempillo/Intern, DLSU