SOME 287 individuals have been apprehended for violating the Anti-Smoking ordinance in Benguet’s capital town since its implementation.
Police Major Jeoffer Banglayan, La Trinidad Municipal Police Station chief, said during the Municipal Tobacco Control Board meeting Tuesday, March 5, that 216 violators were apprehended in 2017 while 32 violators were caught from January to February this year.
Of the 216, 200 were residents of La Trinidad while 16 were tourists. Only 194 paid the penalty while 22 underwent community service.
Most of the violators were caught in Barangay Puguis. The Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office noted that no minors were caught violating the anti-smoking policy.
Municipal Ordinance 8-2014 known as the La Trinidad Tobacco Control Ordinance, which was passed a few years back, seeks to safeguard public health and ensure the well-being of all the constituents by protecting them from the harmful effects of smoking and tobacco consumption.
The La Trinidad Smoking Control Enforcement Unit was formed to ensure smooth implementation of the ordinance. To date, 300 persons have been deputized to enforce the ordinance, composed of barangay officials, Philippine National Police, and line agencies in the valley.
In 2017, the municipality bagged the Red Orchid Award from the Department of Health which recognizes hospitals, local government units, and various institutions that work towards a tobacco-free environment.
The prize for the award was utilized for the ongoing installation of nine billboards as part of the information education campaign targeting stakeholders and tourists entering the valley.