Mayor urges public to quit smoking

BAGUIO CITY – The approved Smoke-Free Baguio Ordinance’s success hinges greatly on the full participation and cooperation of the public.

This was stressed by Mayor Mauricio Domogan during a Smoke-Free Baguio Task Force training-workshop held Tuesday and Wednesday at El Cielito Hotel, here, conducted by the city government and World Health Organization (WHO) country office.

“For the ordinance to fully succeed, we should start with ourselves by not smoking and using tobacco products. We can then be credible in convincing our families, relatives, friends, officemates and others to not engage in smoking by our example of being smoke-free,” he said.

Councilor Joel Alangsab, the measure’s main author, agreed with the Mayor’s appeal adding that he will continue to oppose any proposed amendments that will water-down or diminish the ordinance’s provisions.

“We will continue to fight for the right of non-smokers and health of the public. We are asking the public’s support for this noble and worthy endeavor,” Alangsab said.

Present were city administrator Carlos Canilao, city health officer Rowena Galpo, city treasurer Alex Cabarrubias, city human resource management officer Augustin Laban III and medical officers Celia Brillantes and Donabelle Tubera. Also joining the two-day activity were representatives from various concerned offices and agencies including the Baguio City Police Office.

Ordinance number 34 series of 2017 or the Smoke-Free Baguio Ordinance, 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 measure states.

It 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.

The measure 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 group 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


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