5 February 2018:
EVEN the seat of government of the city of Manila is not spared from Mayor Joseph E. Estrada’s order on smoking ban in all public places in the country’s capital.
Following many reports of continued violations by smokers, the local chief executive reiterated the strict implementation of Ordinance 7812, or “The Smoke-Free Ordinance of the City Government of Manila.”
Penned by Majority Floor Leader Casimiro Sison, the policy was greenlighted by the City Council in March 2017 as an emulation of an existing law in Davao City, where President Duterte ruled as mayor for 22 years.
Per the ordinance, smoking is prohibited in places where the public congregate, including the Manila City Hall.
The town hall located in Ermita district, at the Arroceros, Taft Avenue and Freedom Triangle gate, nevertheless, are exemptions to the rule.
“Gusto natin na ang Maynila ay makilala na isa sa pinakamalinis na lungsod sa bansa, kaya paulit-ulit kong ipinaalala, sundin natin ang smoking ban para rin ito sa ating kalusugan [We want Manila to be known as one of the cleanest cities in the country, that’s why I repeatedly remind that we should follow the smoking ban for our health],” Estrada said.
“We want people to come here [in Manila] because we are healthier. When the people are in the City Hall, there should be no smoke and so will be able to breathe cleaner air,” he added.
Improving the health of his constituents is among the goals of Estrada’s leadership as the city mayor.
This antismoking policy, according to him, has been one of the best things that ever happened to Manila since he assumed office.
With this, he said that he would never cease reminding the local residents to follow the ordinance for their own good. Per the antismoking ordinance of Manila, violators will be arrested by authorities.
A fine of P2,000 and/or one day imprisonment will be imposed for the first offense. Second-timers will pay a P3,000 fine and/or two days imprisonment. For third offense, a P5,000 fine and/or three days in prison applies.
Estrada warned that those who will be caught breaking the law will be apprehended. He instructed the City Hall department heads to closely monitor the employees’ adherence to the smoking ban.
The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance said in a 2014 report that around 17 million people, or nearly a third of the adult population, smoke in the Philippines. Next to Indonesia, this is the second-highest in the region.
The group added that nearly 50 percent of all Filipino men and 9 percent of women smoke.
The vice costs the economy nearly $4 billion in healthcare and productivity losses every year, experts bared.
To mitigate the ill effects of smoking to the people, environment and economy, Duterte signed an executive order banning smoking in public places on a national scale.