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Anti-smoking fines hiked

The city council passed final reading this week the ordinance that increases the fines for violating the anti-smoking ordinance.

The ordinance amends Sections 8 and 10 of Ordinance No. 0367-12, New Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance of Davao City.

The amendments raise the fines for violating the ordinance to P2,000 for the first offense, P3,000 for the second offense, from P1,000 for the first offense, P2,500 for the second offense. The fine for the third offense remains at P5,000.

For the no-contest provision, the is fine increased from P500 to P1,000.

The 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 the city.

“The reason that we want to impose higher fines is because most offenders are repetitive violators because our existing fines are affordable. Even students can afford to pay P500,” Dr. Ashley Lopez of the Vices Regulations Unit said in a previous interview, as he said the move is to discourage smoking.

A study conducted by health maintenance organization PhilCare noted that the city has remained among the areas with high number of smokers.

“The number of sticks per day, nationwide is 4, in Mindanao it’s 9, and in Davao it’s 10,” Dr. Fernando Paragas, lead researcher and Mass Communication associate professor of the University of the Philippines, said.

Lopez said that with the new ordinance they will intensify its implementation by also focusing on violators in villages. “We have deputized several support groups coming from the private sector and the volunteers that would help implement our law here,” he said, adding that the unit will also train enforcers, among them the 3,800 Civil Security Unit (CSU) members of the Public Safety and Security Command Center.

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.

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