TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The interference of cigarette industry towards Indonesian government is the highest in ASEAN. The information collected from the annual observation in nine ASEAN countries under the Southeast Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA).
According to Widyastuti Soerojo, Chairman of the special agency for tobacco control at the Indonesian Public Health Experts Association (IAKMI), Indonesia scores 81 meanwhile Vietnam places second with the score 72, followed by Laos in third with 60 points.
“Throughout the last five years, Indonesia’s government scored the highest level of cigarette industry intervention in ASEAN,” said Widyastuti on Monday, August 28.
However, she said, the situation has actually improved after Health Minister Nila F. Moeloek issued Minister’s regulation No. 50/2016 on the guidelines for handling the clashes of interest with the tobacco industry at the environment of the health ministry.
There are seven categories used to monitor the involvement of the cigarette industry, starting from the participation level of the industry in the government’s policy making; activities that are claimed as the industry’s company social responsibility; providing benefits for the cigarette industry; forms of unnecessary interactions; transparency; conflict of interests; and
acts of preventions.
One example of cigarette industry’s interference was when the Finance Ministry gave awards to four Indonesian cigarette companies on July 27, 2016, for providing the largest tax revenue.