Over 3,000 nabbed in Davao City for smoking, liquor ban violations

Photo by Andres Siimon on Unsplash
Photo by Andres Siimon on Unsplash

THE number of individuals apprehended for violating the liquor ban and no smoking ordinance has increased this year, according to the Vice Regulation Unit (VRU) of the city government of Davao on Thursday, May 25.

From January to April of this year, a total of 2,274 were apprehended for smoking and another 762 individuals for violating the liquor ban.

For the anti-smoking violation, there were 437 apprehensions in January, 628 in February, 565 in March, and 644 in April. For the liquor ban violation, there were 141 in January, 153 in February, 197 in March, and 271 in April.

In comparison during the same period in 2022, there were 1,921 apprehensions for the no smoking violation and 509 for the liquor ban violation.

VRU officer-in-charge Hernando Las said that the increase in apprehensions may be attributed to the lenient policies and complacency of the public after the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Luag naman gud ta karon kay wala na ta pandemic. Medyo nag abuso na ang uban (It’s more relaxed now after the pandemic. So some are abusing the leniency),” Las said during the iSpeak media forum.

In addition, a number of people apprehended in 2022 were faced with charges for unpaid fines for their violations, specifically 99 for the anti-smoking violation and 163 for the liquor ban. But Las said they cannot file a case against minors and people with disabilities.

“Lisod mag file kay di gihapon sila kabayad (It’s difficult to file a case against them since they can’t pay). (For the others) pag nakabayad ka sa fine, dili na mi mag file og kaso (if they pay the fine, they won’t be charged a case),” he said.

Based on Ordinance No. 0367-12 or the Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance of Davao City, smoking is banned in public places, public buildings, workplaces, and entertainment establishments among others.

The penalty for violation is P2,000 for the first offense, P2,500 for the second offense, and P5,000 for the third and succeeding violations.

On the other hand, Ordinance 004-30 or the Davao City Liquor Ban prohibits selling and serving alcoholic drinks from 1:00 am to 8:00 am but Las said their apprehensions also included those drinking in public spaces. The penalty starts at P3,000.

The collected fines from the said violations reached P2,593,000 from January to March of this year. ICM


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