Photo Release

April 24, 2024

Cayetano: Explain Dirty Ashtray Award: Sen. Pia Cayetano says the 34-member Philippine delegation that attended the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) 10th Conference of Parties (COP10) last February was the biggest delegation in the conference, even bigger than those of China and Russia. “Why is this relevant? Because I assume the representatives of the different agencies spent their public funds. It surprises and shocks me that we have to send such a huge delegation,” Cayetano said Wednesday, April 24, 2024, during the Blue Ribbon inquiry as to why the Philippines was awarded the Dirty Ashtray Award for the 5th time. The award was given to the Philippine delegation for its brazen use of tobacco industry tactics to dispute and delay throughout COP10. Hubert Dominic Guevarra, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary from the Office of the President and head of the Philippine delegation, denied the allegations of blocking consensus or causing delays in the last inquiry on the matter. “To not want to disclose details of tobacco delay it in any matter, is totally unacceptable to this representation. And that is what you are all here for, that is what we are asking you to explain, you should be held accountable for that,” Cayetano stressed. According to the lady senator, tobacco control health advocates recommended 1) that the delegation be headed by the Department of Health (DOH), 2) ensure that delegates fulfill their obligations according to the DOH and 3) exclude those who promote the tobacco industry in the delegation. (Nelson Ortiz/Senate PRIB)