BAGUIO CITY – “We in government should lead by example in following the city’s laws, rules and regulations.”
This was emphasized by Mayor Mauricio Domogan in Monday’s flag-raising ceremonies at city hall where he reminded city government officials and employees about the city’s “Smoke-Free Baguio” ordinance that was passed recently.
Health Services Office chief Rowena Galpo said that the smoke-free task force that will oversee the measure’s implementing rules and regulations is currently being formed.
Domogan pointed out the need for concerned city government offices and other agencies to coordinate with local police in strictly implementing the ordinance’s provisions.
The Mayor met earlier with department heads led by city administrator Carlos Canilao, city health office head Rowena Galpo, city treasurer Alex Cabarrubias, city accountant Tony Tabin, city human resource management head Agustin Laban, medical officer Donabelle Tubera, a Baguio City Police Office representative and others at the SP session hall, city hall.
Ordinance number 34 series of 2017 prohibits the use, sale, distribution and advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco products in certain places, imposing penalties for violations thereof and providing funds therefor, and for other purposes.
The measure’s purpose is to safeguard public health and ensure the wellbeing of all its constituents by protecting them from the harmful effects of smoking and tobacco consumption.
“It shall be unlawful for any person to smoke or allow smoking in public utility vehicles, government-owned vehicles or any other means of public transport for passengers, accommodation and entertainment establishments, public building, public place, enclosed public place, or any enclosed area outside of one’s private residence or private place of work, except in duly designated smoking areas,” the ordinance states.
The measure shall apply to all persons, whether natural or juridical, whether resident or not, and in all places, found within the territorial jurisdiction of the city government of Baguio.
It also lists the prohibited acts, penalties to be imposed on violators, where the funds will go and creates a smoke free task force chaired by the Mayor whose members include various heads of government offices and other concerned agencies.
The task force will aid in the implementation, enforcement and monitoring of the ordinance and protect the same from tobacco industry interference at all times, as well as to conduct educational awareness campaigns, information dissemination and capacity building programs that will inform constituents and train enforcement officers.
For further information about the ordinance, the public can contact CESU at (074) 442-9829; 300-6588; Sanitation at (074) 444-9217; 300-3895; and HEPO at 300-3953. /Gaby Keith