11,000 nabbed for violating anti-smoking law in 2017

THE Interim Vice Regulation Unit (IVRU), an anti-smoking and liquor ban task force in Davao City, has recorded 11,265 individuals arrested for violation of the anti-smoking ordinance in 2017.

In a data from IVRU, out of the 11,265 people arrested in 2017, April has the highest record with 3,493; 3,658 in May; 593 in June; 616 in July; 555 in August; 233 in September; 369 in October; 840 in November; and 908 in December.

A source, who refused to be named for lack of authority to speak, said they only have the data from April to December, as the unit started their operation only after its installation on April 3, 2017. The unit is headed by Captain Voltaire Engracia.

For this year, the unit has already arrested 277 violators of the anti-smoking ordinance from January 1 to 12, of which three violators have been facing charges before the court.

The unit attributed the numbers of the violators arrested through the effort of all concerned government authorities to discipline the people in Davao City.

Its task force will issue citation ticket to those who will be violating the New Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance. The citation ticket will indicate the specific violation and the corresponding administrative penalty.

The person issued with the ticket has the option to either contest the violation in court or voluntarily pay the penalty of P500 imposed upon him or her to avoid being criminally prosecuted within 3 days from apprehension.

It is clearly stated however that the no-contest provision can only be availed once and that the violator must undergo smoking cessation counseling. Failure to undergo counseling still warrants the filing of a case in court.
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