PUBLIC cemeteries in Cagayan de Oro will strictly be "no smoking zones" for this year's Undas.
Lawyer Edgardo Uy of the Smoke-Free Task Force said barangay tanods are instructed to reprimand smokers in the cemetery.
The task force visited government offices on Tuesday to ensure that the smoking ban is implemented properly.
Uy said visiting government offices is the first phase of the smoking ban implementation, while the second phase will involve the private sector.
"Kung muadto na kita sa private sector, pwede nato sila ingnon nga please comply na kay ang gobyerno ga-comply na. Duna naman private establishments nga voluntarily nag comply na sila, because cessation of smoking is actually voluntary, so we encourage them to slowly stop this vice," he said.
(If we go to the private sector, we can tell them to please comply because the government has already complied. There are private establishments who have voluntarily complied already)
Police Superintendent Mardy Hortillosa, spokesperson of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) said the police and the task force reached an agreement to temporarily stop the arrests of smokers while information dissemination is still ongoing.
"We are trying to prevent what happened in our campaign against drinking in public places where the public reacted because the info dissemination was not enough. Now, if we can fully inform them, they have no reason to resist our actions," Hortillosa said.
The police however are reprimanding smokers who are caught smoking in public places, pointing out that they are still willing to press charges against those stubborn smokers.