The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) remains true and committed to its mandate to protect and promote the right to health of all Filipinos through the regulation of health products, as provided under Republic Act No. (RA) 9711, otherwise known as the “Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009”. For the FDA, this paramount principle guides its regulatory approach for all health products.
Under RA 11467, The FDA was given the responsibility to regulate both vapor products and heated tobacco products (HTPs). This was further reinforced with the issuance of Executive Order No. (EO) 106, s. 2020. In his letter to the Senate President and the Speaker of the House, the President “instructed the FDA to formulate the intended regulatory framework and relevant agencies to immediately operationalize the same upon issuance”. Prior to the issuance of RA 11467, the FDA had collaborated with international regulatory agencies such as the European Commission, the US FDA, HealthCanada, Health Science Authority among others, and conducted research to develop a regulatory framework for these products. The FDA has also subjected the proposed regulatory framework to the necessary administrative and legal processes for the approval of the policy. This was done to ensure an evidence-based and relevant regulatory approach that will benefit Filipinos. However, the FDA reiterates that its main objective is to protect and promote the intrinsic right to good health above all.
Part of FDA’s Legal authority in enhancing its regulatory capacity is the acceptance of grants, donations, and all other endowments from local and external sources in accordance with pertinent laws, rules and regulations, as provided under Section 18 of RA 9711. Engagement with different partners and non-government organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) has been part of the FDA’s strategy in order to provide assistance to the Agency in improving its capabilities as the country’s national regulatory authority. Funds from Development Assistance for Health appropriated to the FDA by international organizations were used judiciously in accordance with the workplan proposed by the Agency, aligned with the Department of Health’s Strategic Plan on Tobacco Control and subject to the existing accounting and auditing rules and regulations of the government. No money was received by individual FDA officers.
Lastly, the FDA upholds Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2010-01 on the Protection of Bureaucracy Against Tobacco Industry Interference issued by the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Health.
Tobacco product regulations, as part of Tobacco Control, is a legitimate interest of government, pursuant to our Sustainable Development Agenda, our standing commitments to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and the directive of the Office of the President.