Smokers apprehended in churches

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Thursday, December 19, 2013


THE Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Taskforce (Icast) is enjoining the head of the Catholic Church hierarchy in Western Visayas to join the campaign against smoking in public places and in churches.

Icast director Iñigo Garingalao has written Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo in requesting to include the antismoking advisory in all church bulletins, as some violators were apprehended by Icast agents smoking even in the church.

Garingalao said that in a bid to make the city as a smoke-free area, the Icast and partner Zebra Guardians Brotherhood in Molo district, made inspections in churches, its perimeter, vendors and adjacent places which usually hold December events.

Zebra Guardians count as an active member the late Tap-oc barangay captain Jerry Mabilog, brother of the city mayor, who was very aggressive in enforcing the antismoking ordinance in critical times such as the Dinagyang event.

The two-day inspection netted 92 violators such as 18 minors, drivers, police officers, government employees, civilians and vendors. These are from Molo, Jaro, La Paz Catholic Cathedral, and the adjacent plazas.

Garingalao said the inspections will continue until the end of nine day masses, especially during the Christmas masses and Sundays.

Violators, especially minors were brought to the crisis intervention unit of the city social welfare office and others were ticketed for fines.

Garingalao said that Icast will continue its mandate of enforcing the law against smoking during the remaining days of December 2013.

Plans include the December 17-31 operations in making the open sidewalk as a smoke free zone; December 18 at 2 p.m. for a yearly dance for smoke-free Iloilo City open category; Saturdays and Sundays as smoke-free pedestrianization along Calle Real; and December 21-22 inspection of firecracker zones and to check the “No Smoking: signages and apprehend violators.”

Garingalao added that the city is preparing for the upcoming Hall of Fame validation for the annual Red Orchid Award for smoke-free environment on February 2014 on the regional level and March 2014 for the national level.

Local news

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