Cities Vow to Implement Tobacco Control Law, 15/10/10

Officials from seven cities in Metro Manila have vowed to strictly implement Republic Act 9211, otherwise known as the tobacco control law.

The cities of Manila, Makati, Pasig, Caloocan, Marikina, Mandaluyong, and Quezon City have long adopted the anti-smoking law by enforcing outdoor advertising ban, as well as restricting smoking in several establishments.

But during the meeting arranged by the UP College of Law Development Foundation Inc., representatives from the seven cities, known as the G7, agreed that there should be an increase in public awareness with regards to the dangers of smoking.

Manila, in particular, has been gung-ho in restricting minors from smoking, with the Manila Anti-Smoking Task Force prohibiting anybody from selling cigarettes within a 100-meter radius from schools. Dr. Regina M. Bartolome, member-secretariat of the force, said that they are informing the public on the city’s tobacco control policy by means of the “infringement reporting mechanism” and the reporting package coming from the Department of Health (DoH).

Makati City has also adhered to R.A. 9211 by prohibiting smoking establishments. Health Officer Dr. Ma. Lourdes Salud has committed to actively issue warnings to non-compliant establishments with the help of its Sanitation Office and Prosecution Office.

Pasig City Councilor Agustin Alexee Santiago said that the city makes use of the Green Police, primary enforces of anti-smoking ordinances, while Caloocan held an Anti-Smoking Summit last September to provide training to enforcers.

“Caloocan’s anti-smoking initiatives are part of its overall efforts to stop global warming and help the Metro Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) drive to clean up the air in the metropolis,” added City Administrator Russel Ramirez.

Marikina has planned a one-day activity filled with sports activities and a concert. The event will adopt the theme “Tsugi Ka Sa Yosi.”

Mandaluyong is taking necessary measures to punish anti-smoking violators while Quezon City Business Permits Chief Pacifico Maghacot Jr. said that the law would be strictly implemented in areas such as drinking establishments and stores near schools, hospitals, public parks, and youth centers.

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