Harsher ‘no smoking’ ordinance drawn up

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ILOILO CITY: The Sangguniang Panlungsod here is slated to amend City Regulation Ordinance 2006-150 or the Anti-Smoking Ordinance to give more teeth in the implementation of the law.

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Main proponent city councilor Joshua Alim led in a public consultation and hearing of different opinions from stakeholders composed of school authorities, store-owners, managers of supermarkets and groceries, Internet cafes, restaurants and cafeterias on Thursday held at the penthouse of the new city hall.

Alim admitted that there are loopholes in certain portions of the 2006 ordinance such as definition of terms, prohibited acts and designation of smoking areas, which need improvement and amendments.

Alim said the Philippine government is a signatory to the Frankfurt Convention on Tobacco Control determined to give priority to the right to protect public health and measures on tobacco control.

Similarly, Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act empowers city and municipal mayors, building officials and the police with responsibilities of ensuring full compliance of the law.

The amendment will likewise absolutely prohibits any individual from smoking or using electronic devices, shishia and the like within the compound of schools, public buildings, public conveyances and government-owned vehicles, locations in which fire hazards are present such as gasoline stations and storage area for inflammable liquids, gas explosives or combustible material, and within 10 meters in front and surrounding the premises of buildings of public and private hospitals, medical, dental, optical clinics and pharmacies.

The amendments also established absolutely no-smoking streets by declar- ing the whole stretch of JM Basa St and Iznart St as No Smoking Streets. The area is a highly populated area and considered as a heritage area and tourism destination.

Alim said the discussed amendments will be submitted soon to the city for ratification and inclusion as new provisions of the regulation ordinance.

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