Taguig, Makati intensify no smoking campaign

MANILA-- The local governments of Taguig and Makati cities have intensified their campaign against smoking in line with the implementation of the National Smoking Ban beginning July 22 (Saturday), a move that aims to ensure a smoke-free environment and harness a healthy community for all.

In Taguig, the local government reiterated its directive for everyone to strictly comply with the city's Anti-Smoking Ordinance, which absolutely prohibits smoking in centers of youth activity; elevators and stairwells; locations in which fire hazards are present; within the buildings and premises of government institutions, offices, and units; public conveyances and places; and in food preparation areas.

In public areas where smoking is allowed in designated areas, establishments are required to put up signage delineating such restricted area.

To give more teeth to the local government unit's ordinance, the city's Anti-Smoking Task Force composed of the Sanitation Office, Solid Waste Management Office (SWMO), City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), Traffic Management Office (TMO), Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO) and Market Management Office (MMO) will be active in issuing citation tickets to violators.

A fine of up to PHP1,000 will be imposed on first-time offenders, while an amount of PHP3,000 is meted out to second-time offenders.

At the third offense, a violator has to pay a fine of PHP5,000. Owners of establishments who violated the ordinance for the third time will also pay a fine of PHP5,000, and will face cancellation of their business permits.

What we want is a healthier environment for everyone. Smoking has always been a risk to the health of not only the smoker but also to non-smokers. To make this advocacy effective, we are firmly implementing this policy to ensure that every life is protected from the hazardous effects of smoking, said Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano in a statement.

The city government also released a memorandum dated last November 2016, which directed its employees to strictly comply with the 2007 Revised Anti-Smoking Ordinance of the city that absolutely prohibits smoking within the premises of buildings, offices, and facilities owned, leased, used, or managed by the Taguig City government.

Under the same memorandum, No Smoking signs will be displayed within the vicinity of the government facilities. Violators will be instructed to immediately halt the activity while employees who fail to comply with this directive will be given appropriate sanctions with corresponding penalties.

In Makati, to show solidarity with the nationwide enforcement of Executive Order 26, the Makati Health Department will be leading an Anti-Smoking Parade this Saturday which will start at the Makati City Hall Quadrangle at 7:00 a.m.

The Makati City Government expresses its full support for EO 26 (Providing for the Establishment of Smoke-Free Environment in Public and Enclosed Places) which will take effect this Saturday.

The activity will be attended by officials and representatives of the city Law Department, Engineering Department, Information and Community Relations Department, Department of Environmental Services, Liga ng mga Barangay, Department of Public Safety, Makati Police, DepEd Makati and the Makati Action Center.

In May 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Executive Order No. 26 which provides for the establishment of smoke-free environments in public and enclosed places.

Cities like Mandaluyong, Caloocan, Navotas, Muntinlupa, Makati, Davao, Dipolog, Legazpi, Maasin, Balanga, Roxas, Iloilo, Marikina and Santiago have also passed an ordinance against smoking, promoting instead the protection of Filipinos from the ill effects of tobacco and cigarette smoke.

Source: Philippine News Agency