Bataan court strikes down total cigarette ban in Balanga’s University Town
Business interests have prevailed over health concerns as a Bataan court struck down the total cigarette ban imposed by the capital of Balanga City in its University Town area.
In a recent 25-page decision, Balanga City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 93 Judge Philger Noel Inovejas struck down Section 1 of City Ordinance No. 21, series of 2008.
The judge “permanently enjoined” city officials from implementing the said provision that covered the 80.42-hectare University Town and surrounding areas within a one-kilometer radius.
Inovejas ruled that the provision of the ordinance “illegally amends, modifies and expands the prohibitions concerning the use, sale, distribution and advertisement of tobacco products by imposing a total ban.”
The ordinance had sought to regulate tobacco to protect the health of residents and create an environment conducive to the education of the youth.
The Philippine Tobacco Institute sued the city government, arguing the ordinance effectively exceeded what was provided for by national law.
It also argued that Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc. would lose P15 million in sales due to the city’s ban.