City Council okays enforcement of 'no smoking' ordinance-A A +A
Friday, November 5, 2010
THE Bacolod City Council has approved the resolution filed by Councilor Sonya Verdeflor that urges the implementation of City Ordinance 172, Series of 1996, or the Ordinance regulating smoking in public places in Bacolod City.
The resolution has urged the Division of City Schools, Department of Health, Barangay Operations Center, Barangay Councils, Media, Moviehouses and such other public information agencies to conduct a continuing program to educate, inform and disseminate to the public the City Ordinance's provisions and to impose penalty for violation thereof.
The City Council passed the Ordinance on November 14, 1996.
Section 1 of the said Ordinance provides that smoking is hereby regulated in hospitals, movie houses, assembly halls, enclosed and air-conditioned public establishments, government buildings and school rooms, except in designated smoking area to be identified by the administrator, owner, operator or manager of the said establishment.
Section 3 of the said Ordinance states that all establishments open to general public and all government offices must provide adequate smoking areas which may be duly designated and identified with sufficient markings for public information.
It was ordained in Section 4, par. (a) to (d) thereof that smoking is banned in all public places during all times when the public gathers or stays therein, except in such areas as may be designated for smoking in hospitals, movie houses, assembly halls, enclosed and air-conditioned public establishments such as restaurants, shopping malls or department stores, government buildings and offices and schools.
Section 5 and 6 thereof mandate that signs, logos, markings, symbols or any other informative devices shall be prominently and conspicuously posted for the guidance of the public in all major entrances and sections for smoking and non-smoking areas that the person responsible for providing the said signs and logos shall be the owner, operator, manager, administrator or other persons having the control ownership or management of the said establishments.
Administrative fines payable to the City Treasurer's Office and penalties were provided for the violations of the said City Ordinance such as fine of P200 for the first offense, P300 for the second offense and P500 or imprisonment of not more than ten days or both in the discretion of the court for the third and succeeding offenses.
Smoking in public places is still rampant and oftentimes just tolerated to the detriment of the health non-smokers. Thus in Section 8 of the said Ordinance the City Government is mandated to device ways and means as part of its public information campaign to educate the public in order to effectively enforce the Ordinance. (Carla N. Canet)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on November 05, 2010.