MEMBERS of the Smoke-Free Baguio Task Force conducted inspections last week at the Summer Capital’s central business district (CBD) to monitor the extent of compliance to Ordinance No. 34 series of 2017 or Smoke-Free Baguio ordinance authored by councilor Joel Alangsab.
Separate teams assigned to various parts of the CBD were led by city police director Senior Superintendent Ramil Saculles, city administrator Carlos Canilao, personnel head Augustin Laban, health officer Rowena Galpo, licensing chief Allan Abayao, public order and safety head Policarpio Cambod and environment and parks management officer Cordelia Lacsamana in the two-day simultaneous inspections.
The teams were composed of representatives from the city public order and safety division, information office, administrator’s office, licensing division, environment and parks management office, health services office, city buildings and architects office, police department, association of barangay captains, personnel office, department of education and other concerned offices and agencies.
Several violations were noted especially on the open display of tobacco and vape products and smoking inside some establishments without designated smoking areas (DSA) as specified by the ordinance.
The ordinance defines DSA as an outdoor space, duly approved by the City Health Officer, where smoking and/or vaping may be allowed without violating this ordinance, that meets the following requirements: It will be located in an open space outside the building with no permanent or temporary roof or walls in an outdoor area; It is not located in or within ten meters from entrances, exits, or any place where people pass or congregate; It shall not have an area larger than 10 square meters; food or drinks are not served; no building will have more than one designated smoking area, minors or persons below the age of 18 will not be allowed inside; designated smoking area has the following signage highly visible and prominently displayed: “SMOKING AREA”, “MINORS NOT ALLOWED” and graphic health warnings on the effects of tobacco use; It shall not be located in places where absolute smoking bans are in effect.
City Tobacco Control Officer Donnabel Tubera said the activity is part of the continuing monitoring and information-education-communication (IEC) campaign on the ordinance.
Inspections began earlier at the tobacco section of the Baguio City Market where the task force noted violations in the 20 stalls particularly on the provision prohibiting the open display of the products.
Approved in 2017, the Smoke Free Baguio Ordinance prohibits the use, sale, distribution and advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco products in certain places and imposing penalties for violations thereof.
Its purpose is to safeguard public health and ensure the wellbeing of the public by protecting them from the harmful effects of smoking and tobacco consumption.