City’s smoking ordinance up for implementation

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Monday, April 7, 2014


ZAMBOANGA City Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar led government officials on Monday in the launching of a massive information campaign on City Ordinance 413 that seeks to regulate smoking in the city.

The information campaign started with the unfurling of a giant bill board and tarpaulins by Salazar in front of City Hall after Monday’s flag raising ceremony.

City Health Officer Dr. Rodelin Agbulos, Councilor Myra Paz Abubakar and other sponsors of City Ordinance 413 joined Salazar in unfurling the billboard and tarpaulins.

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The event in front of City Hall was followed by a motorcade, which is aimed to instill awareness, along the main thoroughfares.

Abubakar said the ordinance, which was enacted in June of 2013, will be fully implemented starting May 31 coinciding with the observance of the World No Tobacco Day.

The ordinance prohibits smoking in centers of youth activity such as playschools, preparatory schools, elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities, youth hostels and recreational facilities for persons under 18 years of age; elevators and stairwells; fire hazard locations such as gas stations and storage areas for flammable liquids, gas, explosives or combustible materials; within the buildings and premises of public and private hospitals, medical, dental and optical clinics, health centers, nursing homes, dispensaries and laboratories; public conveyance and public facilities including airport and ship terminals, train and bus stations, restaurants and conference halls except for separate smoking areas and food preparation areas.

Abubakar said the designation of a smoking area in all enclosed places that are open to the general public, private work places and other places where smoking may expose a person to the other than the smoker, is mandated under the Ordinance.

Abubakar Ordinance 413 likewise provides penalties for smokers as well as establishments violating the provisions of the law.

For smokers, the penalties are P500 or one day community service for first offense; P1,000 or two days community service for second offense; P2,000 or three days community service for third offense and P5,000 without prejudice to the filing of any criminal case or at the discretion of the Court for fourth and subsequent offense.

The establishment that allows smokers to freely smoke in “no smoking” areas and found violating the provisions of the ordinance, will be fined P1,000 for first offense; P2,000 for second offense; P3,000 for third offense and P5,000 for fourth offense and revocation or cancellation of the business permit.

Agbulos said smoking is one of the major causes of death for several years now in this city. (Bong Garcia)

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