BAGUIO CITY – A total of 451 individuals and establishments were caught violating the Smoke-Free Ordinance from January to March this year.
In a report dated April 10, the City Public Order and Safety Division Enforcement Section Enforcer-Supervisor Mark Padyacan noted that of the total, 361 were individuals and 90 were establishments.
One hundred eighty one – 135 individuals and 46 establishments – paid the penalties amounting to P206,000.
Three rendered community service, two were turned over to the Baguio City Police Office for further investigation while 265 were asked to turn over their identification cards with unsettled penalties to be submitted to the City Legal Office for filing of appropriate cases.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan reminded the public on the provisions of the measure.
Ordinance No. 34-2017 approved in April 2017 prohibits the use, sale, distribution and advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco products in public utility vehicles, government-owned vehicles (mobile and stationary), accommodation and entertainment establishments, public buildings, public places, enclosed public places or any enclosed areas outside one’s private residence or private place of work except in duly designated smoking areas.
The ordinance prohibits smoking or vaping in public places, workplaces, public conveyances or other public places except in designated smoking areas (DSA) duly approved and fully compliant with the requirements.
Included in the prohibited acts in the ordinance are “allowing, abetting or tolerating smoking or vaping in accommodation establishments,” smoking inside government-owned or PUV whether moving or stationary or while waiting for passengers; selling or distributing and purchasing tobacco products and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) to and from minors or ordering them to use, light up, buy, sell, distribute, deliver, advertise or promote tobacco and ENDS products;
Selling or distributing tobacco products and /or ENDS in a school, public playground or other facility frequented by minors, offices of the Department of Health and attached agencies, hospitals and health facilities or within 100 meters from these places, government facilities.
In terms of advertising, the following are disallowed: Placing, posting, displaying or distributing advertisements and promotional materials of tobacco products or ENDS within an establishment covered by the ban; conducting promotional activities, campaigns, events, product sampling and the like in establishments covered; displaying and placing tobacco products and ENDS in open store shelves except in opaque and single-colored storage; and facilitation, participation or partnership engaged by any government officials or personnel in any form of contribution, sponsorship or corporate social responsibility activity by the tobacco company in the city.
Violators face fines ranging from P1,000 to P5,000 with options to render community service.
By: Aileen P. Refuerzo