BAGUIO CITY – Anti-smoking advocates in the city vowed an intensified implementation of the provisions of the city’s anti-smoking ordinance following the approval of the issuance of the new citation ticket for smokers approved by the City Anti-Smoking Task Force.
Senior Superintendent Ramil L. Saculles, City Director of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO), said aside from the expected increase in the number of individuals to be apprehended for violation of the city’s anti-smoking ordinance, the timely release of the citation ticket for smokers will definitely improve the monitoring of those who are apprehended not only by the law enforcers but also the deputized members of the Smoke-Free Baguio enforcers.
From the end of May to November 15, 2017, law enforcers were able to apprehend some 714 violators of the city’s anti-smoking ordinance wherein some of them paid the corresponding fines while other violators opted to render community service.
Saculles added the issuance of Administrative Order (AO) No. 184, series of 2017 by Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan deputizing some 62 law enforcers, members of the City Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) security guards and some government personnel as members of the Smoke-Free Baguio enforcers will definitely help in increasing the presence of authorized agents who will apprehend violators of the city’s anti-smoking ordinance.
Under the provisions of Ordinance No. 34, series of 2017, law enforcers and deputized agents of the local government will be entitled to a 10% incentive from the fines that will be paid by violators of the measure.
Saculles said there is also a need for the local government to deputize responsible barangay officials who will assist the law enforcers and deputized agents in strictly implementing the provisions of the anti-smoking ordinance to cascade to the barangay level the importance of achieving a smoke-free city and to make sure that smokers will not proliferate in the barangays after they were drive not of the central business district area and other public places around the city.
Dr. Donabel Tubera, the city’s Tobacco Control Officer, claimed members of the powerful local finance committee assured concerned officials that the local government will be releasing to the concerned law enforcers and deputized agents their incentives on a monthly basis once the arrested violators will pay their fines to the City Treasury Office.
However, she explained that if the apprehended violators will render community service, the apprehending officers will not be entitled to the prescribed incentives.
Anti-smoking advocates appealed to the public to cooperate in the implementation of the city’s anti-smoking ordinance by not smoking in public places or effect the needed citizen’s arrest against erring smokers who continue to defy lawful orders for them not to smoke in public places in the different parts of the city.
By Dexter A. See