MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday said it would go after minors using vapes and cigarettes, after some parents appealed for strengthened monitoring.
PNP Spokesperson Col. Redrico Maranan said police would follow local ordinances and the law in enforcing the directive from Police Chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda, Jr.
"Iyong ating Chief PNP ay may mga reports na pong pumapasok na mayroon na pong mga naa-accost, nawa-warning-an at mayroong pailan-ilan na nakukumpiskang mga vape items and products na dala-dala ng ating mga estudyante sa paligid ng eskuwelahan," Maranan said in a public briefing.
(Our chief PNP has received reports on minors who were accosted, warned; some students had their vape items and products confiscated after bringing them to schools.)
"[Siya ay] nagbigay ng kautusan sa ating mga chief of police at provincial directors na makipag-ugnayan sa mga local government units, sa mga school officials para mabantayan po iyong ating mga kabataan sa paggamit ng vape at ng paninigarilyo, sapagkat alam naman natin ang masamang epekto nitong paninigarilyo sa murang katawan ng ating mga kabataan," he added.
(He ordered our chiefs of police and provincial directors to coordinate with local governments and school officials to monitor the youth's use of vapes and cigarettes because we know that it has a bad effect on health.)
With the help of local governments, the police will also continue inspecting commercial establishments for the possible sale of vapes and cigarettes to minors, Maranan said.
He also reassured the public that officers would be very careful in handling these cases, most especially on implementing the law to minors.
A warning will be given to minors first, he said.
"Dapat special din iyong handling natin sa case nila. Ayaw naman natin na sila ay ikulong, ayaw naman natin na sila ay kasuhan. Instead, ang gusto natin sila ay ma-warning-an muna, mapaalalahanan at mabigyan ng tamang impormasyon," he said.
"Katuwang din natin diyan ang DSWD sa pagpapatupad po ng smoking ban against doon sa ating mga minor na nagsisigarilyo at gumagamit ng vape," he added.
(Our handling of their cases should be special. We don't want to jail them or press charges. Instead, we want to warn, remind and give them right information. We will partner with the DSWD in enforcing the smoking ban among our minors.)
The controversial Vape Law transferred the regulation of vapes under the trade department from the Food and Drug Administration. It also lowered the age of sale to 18 from 21.