ALL proceeds of the collected fines and penalties under anti-smoking, which accumulated to more than P4 million within eight months, will go to Davao City’s financial assistance for indigent residents and public works projects.
The figure, which reached a total of P4,064,955 as of August 2019, is higher compared to 2018's total collection.
While the total number of smoking violators apprehended from January to August 2019 is at 9,116 as compared to 9,521 for 2018.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, during her State of the City Address (Soca) on October 14, said the City Government apprehending more violators this year proves that they are seriously implementing the Anti-Smoking Campaign.
"For the first half of 2019, the City Government of Davao continues to spread awareness on the dangers of smoking," Duterte-Carpio said.
"We have apprehended more violators this year, proving our strong stance in the implementation of the Anti-Smoking Campaign," Duterte-Carpio added.
Vices Regulation Unit (VRU) secretariat Jalyn Pareja said the collected fines is beneficial to the city's program, the Lingap Para Sa Mahirap Center.
Lingap is a program that provides indigent residents with financial assistance for hospitalization and dialysis, funeral and burial assistance, and medicine subsidies.
“Padulong na siya sa atong Lingap or sa atong mga projects sa Davao City like highways pero mostly gyud diha kay sa atong Lingap (The funds will go to our Lingap and Davao City projects like highways, but most of the money will go to Lingap),” Pareja said.
She said Lingap benefitted even smokers and secondhand smokers although she does not have a figure on smokers who availed the program.
“Isa sa mga dahilan nga nagkasakit sila siguro kay sa balay naay manigarilyo. Ang mga pinaka-affected gyud ana kay mga bata (One of the reasons that people get sick is because there is a smoker in the house. The ones who are greatly affected are the children),” Pareja added.
As to the apprehended violators, Pareja said majority of them are tobacco smokers while a small portion are vape users.
Pareja also said most of the apprehended violators are single men ages 26 to 45 years old and are mostly residents of Talomo and Poblacion District.
She said the number is significantly higher than last year because the anti-smoking operations have intensified.
VRU head Dr. Ashley Lopez said in a previous report that the increasing number of apprehensions is an indication of the city's strong stance against smoking.
"It's increasing. But we perceived it as good because we have an intensified campaign on anti-smoking and the liquor ban," Lopez said.
He also said they increased the number of deputy enforcers who roam around the city, especially in bars and other public establishments. ( Jamrell Vincette Buynay and Rolando Lameda, Addu interns/With reports from RGL)