NVizcaya starts anti-smoking ordinance
by Ben Moses Ebreo
Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya (June 28) -- The anti-smoking ordinance here has reduced the presence of smokers in public places and conveyances since its effectivity in June 21.
The anti-smoking ordinance dubbed Ordinance No. 2010-049 or An Ordinance Prohibiting Smoking in Public Places Including Public Conveyances, Imposing Penalties for Violations Thereof and Providing Funds Therefore started with an intensified tri-media information campaign.
Smoking in public places within the provincial capitol in this town have been reduced, others are in the process of quitting the habit.
Stickers have been posted in various places within the provincial capitol grounds as part of its information, education and communication program, according to board member Edgardo Balgos, main author of the ordinance.
"We are really bent to implement this ordinance because there are many sectors who are very supportive on this," he said.
The anti-smoking ordinance, otherwise known as the Smoke-Free Ordinance of Nueva Vizcaya also imposes penalties among violators such as P1,500.00 for the first offense, P2,500.00 for the second offense and P5,000.00 for the third and subsequent offenses.
The anti-smoking ordinance also pushes for the creation of anti-smoking ask force and the formulation of a Smoking Cessation Program to help and assist smokers in quitting the habit and inspection of public conveyances to ensure their compliance on the ordinance.
The anti-smoking ordinance of the province was penned with the assistance of health officials under Republic Act 8749 or the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999.
The ordinance is one of the major outputs from the various advocacy activities conducted by local health officials in support of the Republic Act 9211or the national Anti-Smoking Law.
The Anti-Smoking Law advocacy program was funded by the Bloomberg Foundation with P1.8 million, according to Viriginia Galapon, provincial coordinator of the anti-smoking program.
She said the ordinance's implementing rules and regulations are now nearing completion while the executive order is now being crafted for approval.
The anti-smoking task force which will initially cover the premises of the provincial capitol has been formed, according to Galapon. (PIA NVizcaya) [top]