Mini Review
Volume 11 Issue 5 - 2022
Constitutionality of Local Tobacco Regulation: An Analysis of the Case of Philippine Tobacco Institute VS. City of Balanga
Arvin A Maceda*
Institute of Law, Far Eastern University, Philippines
*Corresponding Author: Arvin A Maceda, Institute of Law, Far Eastern University, Philippines.
Received: December 27, 2021; Published: April 29, 2022


In 2016, the City Government of Balanga in Bataan passed an ordinance regulating the sale of tobacco products to all its citizens born on or after January 1, 2000, to protect the health of its citizens and maintain an environment that is conducive for the well-being, welfare, and learning of the youth of the city. This ordinance imposed one of the most comprehensive anti-smoking ordinances and among the most progressive in the country. It is based in the vision of the city to be a University Town. Prior to the ordinance the city has been strictly regulating tobacco and alcohol use since 2010 protect the health of its citizen.

The said ordinance is patterned after the effective measures stipulated by the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to which the Philippines have ratified two years after the enactment of R.A. 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act. The FCTC is an evidence-based treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health and represents a paradigm shift in developing a regulatory strategy to address addictive substances. It was developed and adopted in response to the globalization of tobacco epidemic.

After the said ordinance was approved and passed by the City Council, the Philippine Tobacco Institute, representing multinational tobacco corporations, challenged the constitutionality of the said ordinance. In 2018, the Court of Appeals ruled that the Ordinance contravenes R.A. No. 9211 and therefore should be struck down as unconstitutional for being an ultra vires act.

The said decision of the Court of Appeals is premised upon the superiority of a municipal law (RA 9211) over a foreign law (FCTC) wherein it ruled that the foreign law finds no application in the city of Balanga because there is an existing national legislation which is RA 9211. However, since the FCTC is a foreign treaty ratified by the Senate, it can be argued that it also becomes part of the law of the land and has equal status to Acts of Congress [1]. Since the FCTC is a later law, the principle of lex posterior derogate priori should have prevailed.

This paper re-examines the ruling and arguments released by the Court of Appeals and seeks to establish whether or not the ordinance is unconstitutional based on the premise that FCTC being a later law supersedes and impliedly repeals the conflicting provisions of RA 9211.

Keywords: Tobacco Control; Tobacco-Free Generation; Litiagation; Tobacco Industry Interference


  1. Lao Ichong v Hernandez, 101 Phil 115 (1957).
  2. Bellew B., et al. “Addressing the tobacco epidemic in the Philippines: progress since ratification of the WHO FCTC”. Public Health Action2 (2013): 103-108.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (US), Office on Smoking and Health (US). How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General. Cardiovascular Diseases 6 (2010).
  4. Campagna D., et al. “Smoking and diabetes: dangerous liaisons and confusing relationships”. Diabetology and Metabolic Syndrome85 (2019).
  5. Rennard SI., et al. “Cigarette Smoke Inhibits Alveolar Repair”. Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society 8 (2006): 703-708.
  6. Pinlac PAV., et al. “The status of non-communicable disease prevention and control in the Philippines: A systematic review”. Acta Medica Philippina3 (2015).
  7. Antin TM., et al. “Tobacco Denormalization as a Public Health Strategy: Implications for Sexual and Gender Minorities”. American Journal of Public Health12 (2015): 2426-2429.
  8. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (US) Office on Smoking and Health, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General;. The Tobacco Industry’s Influences on the Use of Tobacco Among Youth (2012).
  9. Republic Act 9311, Tobacco Regulation Act of (2003).
  10. Alechnowicz K and Chapman S. “The Philippine tobacco industry: “the strongest tobacco lobby in Asia”. Tobacco Control 13 (2004): 71-78.
  11. Crisostomo S. “Senate ratifies int’l treaty against tobacco”. The Philippine Star (2005).
  12. WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
  13. Republic Act No. 10643, The Graphic Health Warnings Law.
  14. Republic Act No. 10963, TRAIN Law.
  15. Republic Act No. 11223, Universal Health Care Law.
  16. World Health Organization, Case Study on the City of Balanga (2020)
  17. Philippine Tobacco Institute vs. City of Balanga, CA-G.R. SP No. 159329 (2019).
  18. Phil Const. Art. VII Sec. 21.
  19. Gonzales v Hechanova. 9 SCRA 230 (1963).
  20. Deutsche Bank vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. 704 SCRA 216 (2013).
  21. Bayan v. Romulo. 641 SCRA 244 (2011).
  22. Suplico vs. NEDA. 558 SCRA 329 (2008).
  23. Crisostomo S. “Senate ratifies int’l treaty against tobacco”. The Philippine Star (2005).
  24. Fariñas vs. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 188550 (2013).
  25. Lawyers Against Monopoly and Poverty (LAMP) vs. The Secretary of Budget, G.R. No. 164987 (2012).
  26. Office of the Solicitor General vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 199027 (2014).
  27. de Urbano vs. GSIS, G. R. No. 137904 (2001).
  28. Secretary of Justice vs. Lantion, G.R. No. 139465 (2000).
Citation: Arvin A Maceda. “Constitutionality of Local Tobacco Regulation: An Analysis of the Case of Philippine Tobacco Institute VS. City of Balanga”. EC Pulmonology and Respiratory Medicine 11.5 (2022): 38-47.

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