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PIA Press Release

NVizcaya forms anti-smoking task force

by Ben Moses Ebreo

Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya (June 29) -- In line with the enactment of an ordinance prohibiting smoking in public places and conveyances, provincial officials here have formed a task force designed to oversee its proper implementation and enforcement at the provincial capitol.

Virginia Galapon, project coordinator of the anti-smoking program here said the task force is composed of local as well as national government agencies such as the Provincial Human Resource Management Office (PHRMO), Provincial Health Office (PHO), Provincial Planning and Development officer (PPDO), Provincial General Services Officer (PGSO), Civil Service Commission (CSC), Philippine National Police (PNP) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) such as the Federation of Jeepney Drivers and Owners, academe, religious sector and media organizations and agencies.

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 and signed by governor Luisa Cuaresma in March this year took effect in June 21 and started with an intensified tri-media information campaign.

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.

Selling of cigarettes among canteens and transient vendors within the provincial capitol have been prohibited as part of anti-smoking ordinance implementation.

The anti-smoking ordinance, otherwise known as the Smoke-Free Ordinance of Nueva Vizcaya also imposes penalties among violators such as P1,500 for the first offense, P2,500 for the second offense and P5,000 for the third and subsequent offenses.

Galapon said the task force will be formulating its roles immediately after the issuance of an executive order and the implementing rules and regulations of the anti-smoking ordinance to put teeth for its enforcement.

"The ordinance is still piloted within the provincial capitol but it will be enforced provincewide when other local government units will be adopting the same in their respective communities," she said. (PIA NVizcaya) [top]

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