The Smoke-Free committee inspection team of the City Government of Legazpi assessed approximately 68 government, public, and private establishments from August 1 to 8 during their regular Tuesday and Thursday inspections.
Such an inspection is also part of the annual search for Non-Monetary 100% Smoke Free Legazpi as the celebration of the National Lung Month commenced this August.
‘’This project aims to give recognition to smoke free compliant business establishments, academe, universities, schools, barangay halls, hospitals and offices in the city of Legazpi,’’ said Dr. Fulbert Alce R. Gillego, the head of City Health Office (CHO) of Legazpi.
The inspection will continue until October 31, current year.
All establishments are required to meet conditions set by the CHO in order to achieve the 100% smoke-free compliance.
According to the CHO enforcement unit team leader Jose B. Balbin, establishments should secure a permit for their Designated Smoking Areas (DSA) by submitting an application letter to the City Engineering Office along with their floor plan.
‘’The DSA should be 10 meters away from the main entrance and main exit of a building,’’ Balbin said.
Consequently, establishments should ensure that a ‘No Smoking’ signage with eight by 16 size should be posted in visible areas such as doors, and walls.
Those who were issued with tickets due to their violations should pay at the city treasurer’s office within three working days.
‘’We do not ban smoking in Legazpi City, we are regulating it to protect the health of the community,’’ Gillego reiterated.
City Ordinance No. 0007-2009 of Legazpi aims is to regulate, promote a healthy environment and protect the citizens against the danger of smoking.
Balbin disclosed that Legazpi is set to push for the enhanced ordinance on the regulation of smoking.
‘’If the enhanced ordinance is approved, the penalty is higher than the existing ordinance, for example individual will be meted with a P1,000 penalty for the first offense, from 1,000 it will be P1,500 for the second and 2,000 for third offense,’’ Balbin said.
He also shared that individuals meted with the said penalty can choose to pay the fine or conduct community service, thus, urges the public to conform with the existing laws to avoid such penalties and help achieve a healthy and clean environment.
Smokers can enroll in the smoking cessation clinic, with free medication and supplement. I via PIA Albay
Photos: CHO Legazpi