Anti-smoking drive nets P1.3M in fines

BAGUIO CITY – The City Government has collected a total of P1,365,000 in fines from January to August this year from violations of the Smoke-Free Baguio Ordinance.

In a report to Mayor Mauricio Domogan dated Aug. 31, Smoke-Free Baguio Task Force member and Deputized Enforcer Joel Belinan of the Public Order and Safety Division said the amount came from the violators totaling 2,184 who were apprehended by the POSD operatives for the said period.

Of those accosted, 1,158 paid fines while 15 rendered community service.

A total of 115 violators were turned over to the Baguio City Police Office for further investigation while 169 were asked to turn over their identification cards with unsettled penalties to be submitted to the City Legal Office for filing of appropriate cases.

Those who were turned over to the police were the violators who cannot provide any ID and who refused to cooperate.

As per the reported noted by POSD Enforcement Section Head Bromeo Lumiib , there were 52 apprehensions made in January, 317 in February, 560 in March, 333 in April, 178 each in May and June, 204 in July and 362 in August.

Ordinance No. 34-2017 approved in April last year prohibits the use, sale, distribution and advertisement of cigarettes, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and other tobacco products in public utility vehicles, government-owned vehicles (mobile and stationary), accommodation and entertainment establishments, public buildings, public places, enclosed public places or any enclosed areas outside one’s private residence or private place of work except in duly designated smoking areas.

Violators face fines ranging from P1,000 to P5,000 with options to render community service.

By Aileen P. Refuerzo

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