City gains headway in anti-smoking campaign

21 July 2021 – The city continues to gain headway in the strict enforcement of the pertinent provisions of the anti-smoking ordinance to help in achieving a smoke-free city in the future.

Based on the data obtained from the city’s Smoke-Free Task Force from January to June this year, the community and city task forces were able to conduct monitoring on the compliance of a total of 1,500 establishments on the anti-smoking drive.

The community task force was able to apprehend some 9 individuals and cite 68 establishments for specific violations of the city’s anti-smoking ordinance of the 710 establishments that had been inspected during the aforesaid period.

On the other hand, the city task force composed of enforcers from the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) and the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) were able to apprehend some 239 individuals and cite some 608 establishments for their identified violations out of the 790 establishments that had been inspected.

In terms of collections from the fines imposed under the city’s anti-smoking ordinance, the City Treasury Office was able to collect some P1.1 million followed by the POSD with a total of P630,000 and the BCPO which was able to collect some P12,000 during the 6-month period.

In 2019, the city’s anti-smoking task force was able to apprehend some 1,505 violators that increased to 4,465 violators in 2020 before dropping to only 263 for the first 6 months of 2021.

From the aforesaid number of violators, the city was able to collect some P316,000 in prescribed fines in 2019 which increased to P809,000 in 2020 for individual violators but significantly dropped to 69,000 for the first semester of the year.

On the percentage of payment of penalties by individual violators, 20.5 percent of the violators were able to settle their fines in 2019, 22 percent in 2020 and 25.5 percent during the first 6 months of this year.

On the establishments that were found to have violated the city’s anti-smoking ordinance, the community and city task forces were able to cite some 419 businesses in 2019, 2,464 establishments in 2020 and 611 businesses for the first 6 months of the current year.

The city collected some P204,000 fines from the cited establishments in 2019 before increasing to P3.024 million last year but dropped to only P573,000 during the first 6 months of the year.

For establishments that settled their fines with the local government, 33.6 percent of the cited establishments paid their obligation with the city in 2019, 38.4 percent in 2020 and 32.6 percent for the first 6 months of the year.

Ordinance No. 34, series of 2017 or the comprehensive anti-smoking ordinance imposes the prescribed penalties on violat6ors of the same to help in achieving a smoke-free city.

Individuals who will be apprehended for violation of the aforesaid ordinance face a fine of P1,000 to P3,000 depending on the frequency of the violation while establishments that violate the same could be imposed a fine ranging from P3,000 to P5,000 aside from the suspension or revocation of their business permits. – Dexter A. See