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City collects P4-M in smoking penalty

The City government already collected P4 million from the anti-smoking penalties in the first eight months of the year.
This figure, Mayor Sara Duterte said, is already at par with the 12-month collection last year.

As of last August, the total number of smoking violators apprehended increased to 9,116 compared to 9,521 for the whole term of 2018.

“As a result, the total collection under Anti-Smoking Fines and Penalties accumulated to P4 Million within eight months alone in comparison to last year’s total collection of the same amount,” the mayor said during her recent State of the City Address (SOCA).
Duterte attributed the increase to the stronger implementation of the Anti-Smoking Campaign.

“For the first half of 2019, the City Government of Davao continues to spread awareness on the dangers of smoking. We have apprehended more violators this year, proving our strong stance in the implementation of the Anti-Smoking Campaign,” the mayor said.

The City Council passed on final reading last month the ordinance that increases the fines for violating the anti-smoking ordinance.

The penalty for the first offense is now P2,000, a 100 percent increase from the previous fine of P1,000.

A second offender is now fined P3,000, an increase of P500.

The fine for the third offense remains at P5,000.

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

“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, adding that 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.

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