Smoke free task force to inspect BPOs

BAGUIO CITY – After conducting inspections on sari-sari stores and similar establishments near schools, the Smoke-Free Baguio Task Force will next target Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firms like call centers in the Summer Capital.

The move is to ensure that these firms are complying with city ordinance no. 34, series of 2017, that prohibits the use, sale, distribution and advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco products in certain places, imposing penalties and providing funds thereof.

The task force is composed of representatives from the health services office (HSO) headed by Dr. Rowena Galpo, police department, permits and licensing, public order and safety division, information office including barangay officials and other concerned agencies.

HSO medical officer Donnabel Tubera said that no date has been finalized yet for the inspections of BPO establishments since it is still being coordinated with the city buildings and architecture office (CBAO) under Engr. Nazita Banez.

Under the measure’s provisions on smoking or vaping, violators are fined P1,000 for the first offense; P2,000, second offense; P3,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months or both at the discretion of the court or suspension or revocation of business license or permit (in case of a business entity or establishment), if applicable, for the third and subsequent offenses.

Approved last year by the city council, the Smoke and Vape Free Ordinance authored by councilor Joel Alangsab aims to safeguard public health and ensure the wellbeing of all its constituents by protecting them from the harmful effects of smoking and tobacco consumption.

The measure makes it unlawful for any person to smoke or allow smoking in public utility vehicles, government owned vehicles or any other means of public transport for passengers, accommodation and entertainment establishments, public buildings, public places, enclosed public places or any enclosed area outside of one’s private residence or private place of work except in duly designated smoking areas.-gaby keith

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