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VRU vows to arrest smokers in barangay level

In line with the 17th anniversary of the anti-smoking campaign of the city and in observance of the World No Tobacco Day, the City Vice Regulation Unit vows to intensify apprehension of violators down to barangay levels.

Vice Regulation Unit (VRU) head and Anti-Smoking Task Force co-chair Dr. Ashley Lopez said that apprehended violators increased to 60% compared to the same first quarter of the previous year.

“This does not mean that the numbers of smokers continue to increase but we can attribute this increase in apprehension to the active enforcement of the law,” Lopez said.

“We have deputized several support groups coming from the private sectors and the volunteers that would help implement our law here,” he added.

But to further increase the apprehension of violators, Lopez said they will have to train more.

“Later on, we will be coming up with the trainings for enforcers. Our priority is the Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) where our 3,800 strong Civil Security Units (CSU) members belong,” he said.

“Our CSUs have been delegated in barangays. This can be a reason to strengthen the Anti-smoking Ordinance down to the barangays,” Lopez added.

City Ordinance 0367-12 series of 2012, otherwise known as the New Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance, prohibits smoking of any tobacco product 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 territorial jurisdiction of Davao City.

In 2002, the city passed the first Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance, which marked its 17th year yesterday.

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