BACOLOD CITY, Aug. 3 — Business establishments and government agencies in this city were directed to set up designated smoking areas in compliance with the nationwide smoking ban.
Councilor Caesar Distrito, co-chairman of the Anti-Smoking Task Force, said Thursday members of the action team will be trained for the distribution of flyers with information on the setting up of designated smoking areas.
The Anti-Smoking Task Force created the action team and assigned it to apprehend violators and inspect establishments.
Distrito said they will follow a two-way approach in addressing the smoking issue. These include education and information, and strict implementation, which should be done simultaneously.
He added that the task force also designated enforcers of Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) to strictly enforce the smoking ban in all public utility vehicles.
Superintendent Luisito Acebuche, head of BTAO, said that from July 25 to August 3, a total of 15 smoking ban violators have been arrested in the city.
The violators included 11 jeepney passengers and four drivers.
Distrito authored City Ordinance No. 641, Series of 2013 which regulates smoking in public places, including public conveyances, and advertisements, promotions and sponsorships of tobacco products.
Even before the nationwide smoking ban, Bacolod has been implementing its own anti-smoking ordinance, the councilor said.
Violators are fined P500 for first offense, P1,000 for second offense, and P2,500 or imprisonment for third offense.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 26, which took effect on July 22, provides for the establishment of smoke-free environments in public and enclosed spaces.
Other prohibited acts are smoking within enclosed public places and public conveyances, except in designated smoking areas (DSA); selling of tobacco products to minor; ordering a minor to use, buy, or distribute tobacco products; and placing tobacco advertisements outside the premises of point-of-sale establishments.