DAVAO CITY – The Davao City Anti-Smoking Task Force said there is an increase in the number of the smoking ban violators this year, which already reached 5,220.
Dr. Domilyn Villareiz, co-chairperson of the task force said the increase was “not that much yet” to last year’s 4,396.
“This means our law enforcers are very active. The Davao City Police Office is doing their job,” Villareiz told reporters on Monday.
The New Comprehensive Anti Smoking Ordinance in the City was passed in 2012 providing a clearer guideline compared to the first anti-smoking ordinance in 2002.
First-time violators of the ordinance are given citation tickets and are required to attend attend smoking cessation counseling. They must also pay P500, while subsequent violators pay up to P5,000 penalty.
The ordinance prohibits smoking of any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, shishas and the like, in all accommodation and entertainment establishments, workplaces, enclosed public places, partially enclosed public places, public buildings, public outdoor spaces and all public conveyances, government-owned vehicles and other means of public transport within the city.
The length of imprisonment ranges from one month to four months at the maximum.
Villareiz also reminded newly established convenience stores in the city not to sell cigarettes “100 meters from the boundary of the school.”
She also warned convenience stores who have “refreshment areas” and are selling cigarettes.
“We had a legal opinion from the City Legal Office that those that are selling cigarettes, they are not allowed to have a refreshment parlor within the establishment,” she said.
Villareiz said they noticed that young people who are going to convenience stores are “exposed to what we call a power wall, when you pay at the cashier, the children can see the cigarette in front of them.”
“When they are having their snacks, they are exposed to advertisements because a power wall is a form of advertisement of cigarettes,” she said.
Villareiz said starting January 2016 convenience stores are not allowed to sell cigarettes.“They have to give up selling cigarettes or to give up refreshment parlor,” she said.
Villareiz also admitted that there is a need to intensify the anti-smoking campaign in the market. She said the only mobile used by the task force cannot cover a big area like the market place.
“But they are aware of that, we only need the participation of the market master and the police deployed there,” she said.
Villareiz said the citizens can invoke “citizen arrest” against the violators of the smoking ban.
Last year, the task force was able to collect almost P1.5 million from fines. This year, Villareiz said they have collected P1.8 million from January to October. (davaotoday.com)