Local folks and visitors in this town are reminded of the strict implementation of a local ordinance that bans smoking in public places starting Dec. 1.
The local government has created a task force, chaired by Sangguniang Bayan (SB) member and chairperson of Committee on Health Cesar M. Mojica, to strictly enforce Municipal Ordinance No. 16, which prohibits smoking in government offices, whether local or national, as well as in all public schools and utility vehicles operating in the municipality.
In an advisory, the local ordinance was described as the municipality’s preventive approach in view of the increasing number of Filipinos who die each year of tobacco-related diseases, such as stroke, heart disease, emphysema, various cancers and nicotine addiction. These include both public and workers in facilities, where smoking is allowed.
The ordinance exempts designated smoking areas with sufficient ventilation and available exhaust fans.
The task force will impose corresponding fines to violators with option for imprisonment. Those below 18 years old or minor-violators would be subjected to rehabilitation program.
Under the ordinance, an appropriate rehabilitation program should be conducted by the parent/s in coordination with the school guidance councilor or the municipal social welfare and development office (MSWDO) for violators below 18 years old or the minors.
Violators aged 18 and above will be fined PHP300 and PHP1,000 for the 1st and 2nd offense respectively, while 3rdtime offenders will either pay a fine of PHP 3,000 or face imprisonment of not more than 30 days or both (fine and imprisonment), subject to the discretion of the court. (Gladys Pino)
News source: Philippine News Agency