455 caught for violation of Legazpi smoke-free ordinance in Q1 2015

LEGAZPI CITY— Strictly enforcing its anti-smoking ordinance, this smoke-free city netted 923 violators in 2014 and 455 in the first quarter of 2015, raking in a total amount of Php500,000 in fines, according to the head of the implementing team.

Photo via Smoke-Free Albay Net
Jaime B. Olarte, city smoke-free task force coordinator, noted that there is a tendency for the total number of persons caught smoking and buying or selling of tobacco to increase. With this situation, he encouraged everyone to be part of the campaign to enforce the smoke-free ordinance of the city.

City Ordinance No. 0007-2009, known as “The Revised Smoke-Free Ordinance of Legazpi City,” provides that it is a policy of the city to protect its populace from hazardous tobacco products and promote the right to health and instill health consciousness among them, Olarte said.

He added that the ordinance’s main purpose is to regulate and promote a healthful environment and protect the citizens, especially the youth, from the hazards of tobacco and, at the same time, ensure that the interests of others are not adversely compromised.

To ensure that this policy is strictly enforced, Mayor Noel Rosal organized an enforcement team called the Legazpi City Smoke-Free Unit that will supervise and apprehend persons who will violate the policy within the city’s jurisdiction. The group is composed of various committees headed by the mayor himself with 459 deputized persons.—By Jerick Jay Arienda (PNA)

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