THE City Government is set to implement this coming October the smoking ban in all public places, but not without an information campaign slated on Aug. 16 to Sept. 30.
The Smoke-Free Task Force will first pass an ordinance to provide a clear cut guidelines on the ban, particularly the penalties that will be imposed.
City Councilor Ma. Lourdes Gaane, chairperson on the committee on health, said they are targeting for the ordinance to be passed this September so the “ban” will immediately be imposed on the following month.
Initially, Gaane said the penalty could reach to as much as P5,000.
“We will give the task force two to three weeks to study and iron out the ordinance,” she said.
The implementing agency will be the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office as well as the Barangay tanods.
She said the task force has tapped the Liga ng mga Barangay for a stronger enforcement in the community level.
However, Gaane clarified the smokers are not prohibited to smoke, but only in designated smoking areas (DSA) per executive order 26 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last year.
According to the executive order, DSA should not be built within 10 meters from entrances, exits, or any place where people pass or congregate, or in front of air intake ducts.
There shall be no more than one DSA in a building, and the chosen area should bear proper signage.
Minors are prohibited from DSAs, the order said.
The EO, however, bars the establishment of DSAs in schools, hospitals, clinics, food preparation areas, and locations in which fire hazards are present.
The EO also prohibits “persons-in-charge” to allow or authorize smoking in public places.
Persons-in-charge refers to a president or manager in case of a company, corporation, partnership or association, or the administrator in case of government or private property, facility, office or building, and the city/municipal schools superintendent, school president, dean or principal in case of schools.
Selling, distributing, or purchasing tobacco products to and from minors are also prohibited.