Info drive for no-smoking ordinance to go full blast PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 11:05

The information campaign for the no smoking ordinance will be on full blast starting April 7 until the end of May in preparation for its full implementation in June.

Councilor Myra Paz Abubakar, principal author of Ordinance 413 otherwise known as the Ordinance Regulating Smoking in the City of Zamboanga and Providing Penalties for Violation thereof, however said orientation seminars regarding the provisions of the said law have already started last weekend.

Police authorities, who are tasked as the enforcers of the said law, are primary targets of orientation.

Abubakar said the launching activity will be held during the flag raising ceremony in City Hall, highlight of which will be the unfurling of the “No Smoking” tarpaulin at the City Hall balcony.

Ordinance 413, approved last year, prohibits smoking in centers of youth activity such as playschools, preparatory schools, elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities, youth hostels and recreational facilities for persons under 18 years of age; elevators and stairwells; fire hazard locations such as gas stations and storage areas for flammable liquids, gas, explosives or combustible materials; within the buildings and premises of public and private hospitals, medical, dental and optical clinics, health centers, nursing homes, dispensaries and laboratories; public conveyance and public facilities including airport and ship terminals, train and bus stations, restaurants and conference halls except for separate smoking areas and food preparation areas.

The law also mandates the designation of a smoking area in all enclosed places that are open to the general public, private work places and other places where smoking may expose a person to the other than the smoker.

The ordinance likewise provides for penalties for smokers as well as establishments violating the provisions of the law. For smokers, the penalties are P500 or one day community service for first offense; P1,000 or two days community service for second offense; P2,000 or three days community service for third offense and P5,000 without prejudice to the filing of any criminal case or at the discretion of the Court for fourth and subsequent offense.

On the other hand, the establishment that allows smokers to freely smoke in “no smoking” areas and found violating the provisions of the ordinance, will be fined P1,000 for first offense; P2,000 for second offense; P3,000 for third offense and P5,000 for fourth offense and revocation or cancellation of the business permit.

Other principal authors of the ordinance are former Councilor and now District II Representative Lilia Nuño and Councilors Rommel Agan and Cesar Jimenez Jr. — Sheila Covarrubias