BAGUIO CITY: Now that the “Smoke-Free Baguio” ordinance has been approved, there is a need for concerned city government offices and other agencies to coordinate with local police in strictly implementing the measure’s rules and regulations. This was pointed out by Mayor Mauricio Domogan during a recent meeting with department heads led by city administrator Carlos Canilao, city health office head Rowena Galpo, city treasurer Alex Cabarrubias, city accountant Tony Tabin, medical officer Donabelle Tubera, a Baguio City Police Office representative and others at city hall. Ordinance 34, series of 2017, prohibits the use, sale, distribution and advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco products in certain places, imposing penalties on violators. The measure’s purpose is to safeguard public health and ensure the well-being of Baguio folk by protecting them from 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 ordinance states. The measure 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. It lists prohibited acts, penalties to be imposed on violators, where the funds will go and creates a task force headed by Domogan and whose members include various heads of government offices and other concerned agencies. The task force will aid in 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 more 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 B. KEITH