Dayanghirang approves anti-smoking ordinance

Davao Oriental Gov. Nelson L. Dayanghirang signed on Monday, August 7, the revised Provincial Anti-Smoking Ordinance imposing a smoking ban in all public places in the province.

The ordinance, which was first enacted in 2016, prohibits smoking in all public areas, including government facilities, public transport facilities, food establishments, hotels, schools, hospitals, and workplaces as well as outdoor facilities like playgrounds, parks, and markets, among many other places.

Supporting the national government’s campaign to instill health consciousness among the public, the Provincial Anti-Smoking Ordinance is consistent to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 26 which aims to safeguard public health.

Aiming to promote healthy lifestyle and protect the public from the devastating effects of smoking in terms of health, social, environmental, and monetary, the ordinance also aims to curb incidence of diseases caused by smoking tobacco, which has been costing the government millions of pesos on healthcare.

For the ordinance to be fully executed, an Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) will be issued sixty days after the Governor’s approval.

Governor Dayanghirang said the ordinance, which has undergone rigorous public consultation in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, will be strictly implemented throughout the province.

Board Member Laureano B. Taya, SP Chairman on the Committee on Health and Sanitation, who authored the ordinance, said that penalties to individuals who will be violating the ordinance will be imposed.

Individuals and establishments proved violating the ordinance will face fines or imprisonment. For the first offense, violators will be fined P300, P500 on the second offense and P1,000 or imprisonment on the third offense.

Meanwhile, based on the policy’s provisions, designated smoking areas are still allowed as long as the owners secure a Certificate of Compliance and follow the requirements set by the ordinance.

For proper monitoring, the Provincial Anti-Smoking Task Force will observe the procedure of imposing penalties to persons and establishments that violated the ordinance’s provisions.

An Anti-Smoking Task Force will also be created to aid the implementation, enforcement and monitoring of the ordinance as well as the information and education campaign against smoking. By Karen Lou Deloso

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