NVizcaya gears up for public hearing on no-smoking ordinance
by Ben Moses Ebreo
Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya (June 17) -- Provincial officials here are now in the process of coordinating with various sectors in the province for the conducting of a public hearing and information dissemination activities in support to the recently-approved no-smoking ordinance.
"We are at present coordinating with affected sectors so that we can implement this ordinance fully and properly," said board member Edgardo Balgos, one of the sponsors of the ordinance.
Signed by Governor Luisa Cuaresma on May 25, 2010, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ordinance No. 2010-049 entitled "An Ordinance Prohibiting Smoking in Certain Public Places Including Public Conveyances, Imposing Penalties for Violations Thereof and Providing Funds Therefore", was anchored on the provision of the 1987 Constitution, mandating the state to protect the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them; the Republic Act 7160 of the Local Government Code of 1991's promotion of the general welfare of its constituents to include among others, the promotion of their health and safety; Section 24 of Republic Act 8749 or the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 which prohibits smoking inside enclosed public places, public vehicles and LGUs are directed by law to implement the provision; and section 5 of Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 which prohibits smoking in certain public places whether enclosed or outdoors like centers of youth activity, public facilities and public conveyances.
The ordinance defines public conveyances as a mode of transport such as but not limited to jeepneys, buses, tricycles and other similar vehicles.
Once fully implemented, the ordinance also requires the installation of "No Smoking" signages in prohibited areas and places and removal of ashtrays in public and work places among others.
The ordinance will also implement a Smoking Cessation Program(SCP) and Facility through the Municipal Health Officers to help and assist smokers who may want to quit the habit and encourage the help of public and private facilities for the implementation of the SCP and the creation of a Smoke Free Task Force to assist in the enforcement, monitoring and implementation of the ordinace.
Other components of the ordinance are information and dissemination, inspection, compliance and posting of bill boards.
The ordinance also requires violators to pay the penalties such as P1,500 for the first offense, P2,500.00 for the second offense and P5,000.00 for the third offense.
Under the ordinance, the license to operate of any private establishment or franchise to operate for public conveyances will be suspended or revoked depending on the mode of violation.
The violator may choose to render community service if he or she will be unable to pay the penalties imposed under the ordinance. (PIA NVizcaya) [top]