City eyes stiff smoking ban implementation

Stepping off toward the realization of its vision of becoming a highly livable and urbanized and disaster-resilient city by 2030,  the city government now pushes for a Comprehensive Smoke-Free Tagbilaran.

Starting off with a draft ordinance authored by City Councilor Eliezer Borja, local officials presented Tagbilaran’s No-Smoking draft legislation for its initial public hearing July 20, according to a representative of Dr. Geia Pondoc, City Health Officer.

The local move, according to nurse at the CHO, Aprille Czarina Ardon, is in support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order #26 mandating the implementation of the Nationwide Smoking Ban in public places.

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Paulyn Ubial earlier said the President signed Executive Order 26 May 16, in time for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day on May 31.

Invoking the Clean Air Act or the right of the citizens enjoy and breathe clean air, and the Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulations Act which prohibits smoking in public spaces, the President’s EO also bans selling of cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors, and or allowing minors to buy these products.

Along this line, the city government has provided details for local implementation on the presidential order, Ardon shared at the Kapihan sa PIA commemorating August as Lung Month.

The City intends to strictly impose no selling of cigarettes and tobacco products to minors, to put up a ban on advertisements promoting smoking in areas frequented by kids, and to lay down the areas where these unhealthy practices would not be tolerated, Ardon relayed to listeners of the radio forum on air Thursday.

The local ordinance also looks at imposing the ban on areas frequented by children.

The EO has also banned compelling minors to use, light up, sell, deliver tobacco products.

“Ordering, instructing, or compelling a minor to use, light up, buy, sell, distribute, deliver, advertise or promote tobacco products are likewise prohibited,” the EO states.

The city authorities also hinted on imposing the ban on selling cigarettes by vendors, and imposing stiffer taxes to those who would insist on selling, according to CHO authorities.

This early, while Tagbilaran intends to fully implement the ordinance when passed by next year, a massive public information dissemination has been eyed, leaked Ardon.

Parallel preparations are also in place while the city forms an Anti-Smoking task Force which would also use the Barangay tanods and the City Alert Team in implementing the provision of the ordinance, she said. (PIA)








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