Parañaque now a 'strictly' non-smoking city
MANILA, Philippines – Mayor Edwin Olivarez on Wednesday, December 10, reiterated his commitment to strictly enforce a 2010 ordinance regulating smoking in Parañaque, banning the vice in public places.
“The only way that we can guarantee our campaign’s ultimate success is to leave an indelible mark so lasting that non-smoking [will] become a habit for generations to come. Now is the time to make that mark in history,” Olivarez said in a statement.
Parañaque City Ordinance No. 10-09 or the “Anti-Smoking City Ordinance” prohibits smoking in the following areas:
- government premises
- elevators and stairwells
- gas stations and other places with fire hazards
- schools and other youth activity centers
- hospitals and other health centers
- all places of worship
- museums, libraries, theaters, auditoriums, coliseums
- grocery stores, supermarket, convenience stores, markets
- public comfort rooms
- public outpost
For enclosed private places, smoking will only be allowed in a designated smoking area that complies with the necessary requirements. Owners of buildings and establishments in the city must apply for proper permits if they want to put up smoking areas.
Existing smoking areas without permits should be brought to the attention of authorities. Olivarez said violators of the ordinance will be penalized accordingly.
Individual violators will be fined:
- P500 ($11.22)* for their first offense
- P1,000 ($22.44) for the 2nd offense
- P1,500 ($33.66) for the 3rd offense
Meanwhile, establishments will be fined:
- P2,000 ($44.88) on first offense
- P3,000 ($67.31) on 2nd offense
- P5,000 ($112.20) or closure on 3rd offense
Upon receipt of a Notice of Violation, violators can either file a protest or pay the fines.
“We need to show how serious we are by putting our feet firmly down the necks of all violators,” Olivarez said.
To avoid inconvenience, smokers are advised by the Parañaque City Information Office to "suspend their habits" while in the city.
As early as 1999, the Philippines already has Republic Act 8749 or the Clean Air Act.
It mandates local government units (LGUs) to prohibit smoking inside public buildings, enclosed public places, and enclosed areas outside of one's private residence, private place of work, or any designated smoking area.
However, data from the Department of Health show that only 125 out of 1,714 LGUs have “comprehensive” anti-smoking policies as of May 2012. (READ: Tobacco CSR thwarts ad ban, no-smoking laws)
These are LGUs with 100% smoke-free indoor policies, restrictions on selling cigarettes to and by minors, and ban on tobacco advertisements.
The good news is that the country is starting to see a drop in smoking among the very poor and the young after the sin tax law was implemented. (READ: SWS survey: Youth, poor smoking less) – Rappler.com
*US$1 : P44.58