SC landmark ruling a victory for Filipinos, youth

By Senator Pia S. Cayetano

  • Principal sponsor, RA 7911
  • Intervenor, GR 200431 (DOF and FDA as petitioners, Cayetano and Drilon as petitioners-intervenors vs. Philippine Tobacco Institute, Inc. as respondent)

The Supreme Court just affirmed the right of every Filipino to good health by upholding the power of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate cigarettes and tobacco products. This is a major victory for our people and advocates for tobacco control and public health.

Thirteen years ago, I sponsored and defended what became the FDA Act of 2009. RA 9711 mandated the FDA to regulate all products affecting health, including cigarettes and tobacco. The tobacco industry rejected FDA’s authority, and went to court to prevent the FDA from regulating them.

The health hazards of tobacco cannot be denied, and are backed by strong medical evidence. It is common sense that these products be subjected to strict regulation by a competent health authority.

After a long judicial process, the SC has ruled in our favor by affirming FDA’s jurisdiction over cigarettes and tobacco products. As principal sponsor of RA 9711 and later, as an intervenor in this case along with Sen. Franklin Drilon, I laud our SC for this landmark decision.

This win is for the Filipino people and will benefit future generations. It may have taken 13 years, but it’s these victories that remind me to keep fighting the good fight. It’s what makes my job worthwhile.

This triumph wouldn’t have happened without the guidance and support of my fellow health advocates, including the late health secretary, Dr. Alberto ‘Quasi’ Romualdez.

It is my hope that the incoming administration will continue to strengthen our health systems, and ensure that all harmful and potentially harmful products that should fall under the ambit of FDA’s authority are duly regulated to safeguard public health. #

“Sabon nga FDA-regulated. Ang yosi, bakit hindi?” Senator Pia S. Cayetano went to the Supreme Court to file her motion to intervene in the DOH and FDA case against the Philippine Tobacco Institute to uphold the FDA Law of 2009. (File photo: April 11, 2013)
“This triumph wouldn’t have happened without the guidance and support of my fellow health advocates, including the late health secretary, Dr. Alberto ‘Quasi’ Romualdez.” – Senator Pia Cayetano (File photo: November 19, 2012)


Senator Pia Cayetano’s reaction to a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court (GR 200431), which upholds the validity of the rules and regulations implementing RA 9711, or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Act of 2009, and recognizes the continued regulatory authority of DOH and FDA over cigarettes and tobacco products.

Senator Pia is the principal sponsor in the Senate of RA 9711. She was also an intervenor in the Supreme Court (SC) case, along with Sen. Franklin Drilon. Their motion for intervention was filed on April 11, 2013.

The SC decision was issued on July 21, 2021 and promulgated on June 7, 2022. A copy of the ruling was received by the Cayetano Sebastian Ata Dado & Cruz Law Office on June 9, 2022. 

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