Smoke-free TF to inspect establishments

MEMBERS of the Smoke-Free Baguio Task Force will inspect business establishments in the central business district on Feb. 13 and 15 to monitor the extent of compliance to Ordinance No. 34-2017, or Smoke-Free Baguio ordinance.

City Tobacco Control Officer Donnabel Tubera said this is part of the continuing monitoring and information-education-communication (IEC) campaign mandated by the ordinance.

Business firms along Session Road and its vicinity will be inspected rom 1:30-3 p.m. by the task force.

Inspections began last week at the tobacco section of the Baguio City Market where the task force noted violations in 20 stalls, particularly of the provision prohibiting the open display of the products.

During the meeting with the tobacco sellers, the task force explained the provision particularly Section 5 letter S which prohibits the display and placing of tobacco products and/or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) in open store shelves or racks as these should be put in enclosed opaque or single-colored containers.

The rule applies to all stores even if they do not fall within the 100-meter prohibited distance from schools, public playground and other facilities frequented by minors.

Violators of this specific provision face fines ranging from P1,000 to P5,000 with options to render community service.

Stallowners were advised to comply and put their tobacco products mostly tobacco leaves, ground leaves and cooked tobacco products in appropriate containers and hidden from view.

“Anyway, there’s no need for you to expose your products as people already know that you have them here,” Tubera told them.

The prospect of them shifting to another business was also discussed as some of them expressed willingness to shift to selling fruits or other products as they expect their sales to dwindle due to the expanded smoking prohibition.

They said most of their products come from La Union and Pangasinan and most of their customers are from Benguet and Mt. Province.

Market Superintendent Fernando Ragma Jr. committed the city’s support to those who will venture into selling other goods as Mayor Mauricio Domogan himself encourages the shift to other products. (Aileen Refuerzo)
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