ORMOC CITY – Smoking ban will still be implemented even during the annual fiesta of this city.
This was declared by City Mayor Richard Gomez who warned violators that they will be apprehended once caught by the police.
Gomez is strengthening their campaign against public smoking across the city using an anti-smoking ordinance which carry some penalties.
Based on the anti-smoking ordinance of the city, the penalty ranges from P500 up to P1, 500, depending on the number of times a violator is caught.
“If they want to smoke they have to do it outside the city proper. There will be no exemption,” Gomez said.
Ormoc is aiming to be declared as a “smoke free city”.
It received a nomination for this year’s Red Orchid Award- LGU category, a program of the Department of Health that recognizes cities, municipalities, government offices and health facilities that are strictly enforcing tobacco control measures.
Mayor Gomez clarified that although the city government is imposing strict compliance of Republic Act 9211 also known as the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 they are not stopping anyone from doing their vice but they should do it in designated area or in their respective houses.
Under the law smoking is prohibited in indoor public places and workplaces such as government facilities, healthcare and educational institutions, and facilities frequented visited by minors, public land transport, aircraft, and public transport terminals.
Smoking is allowed in other public places and work places which include bars and nightclubs but there must be designated smoking areas.
“Our goal here is to keep our citizens healthy. We know the bad effects of smoking.It causes lung cancer and other diseases,” Gomez said.
Last week, Gomez together with personnel from the City Health Office and Ormoc City Police Office conducted “Oplan Baklas” of cigarette advertisement in stores within 100-meter distance from schools and barangay halls.
“We did an operation Baklas to implement RA 9211 which says you cannot put any cigarette advertising within 100 meters of places frequented by minors,” he said, adding that they also took down posters and billboards fronting barangay halls.