LGU fully implements anti-smoking ordinance

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                An ordinance regulating the smoking in public places and prohibiting smoking for minors in the City of Tacurong (Ordinance 13-2011) is now in full implementation.
                With the said anti-smoking ordinance, business establishments will be required to designate smoking areas to protect non-smokers. The City Health Office (CHO), City Environment and Natural Resources Office, and City Engineering Office will be inspecting the suitability of the smoking areas. Sixty days after the ordinance’s effectivity, CHO and Licensing Office shall conduct ocular inspection to determine the compliance of business establishments in the city.
Business establishments are also prohibited to sell cigarettes or tobacco products to minors. Further, smoking inside a government-owned or public utility vehicle whether moving and stationery is considered illegal.
Corresponding penalties will be meted to those who will violate the provision of the ordinance.
                “This implementation needs an extensive information and education campaign among the citizenry. They should be well-informed of all our undertakings on this matter,” said Mayor Lina Montilla during the orientation.
City Councilor Psyche Sucaldito, one of the principal authors of the Anti-Smoking Ordinance, said that billboards and signage will be posted in various areas to notify the public of the restrictions and penalties of the ordinance.
Prior to the full implementation of said ordinance, an orientation among the determined city anti-smoking enforcers was conducted on November 26, 2012. Salient points of the ordinance were discussed among 33 representatives of Task Force Talakudong, DepEd, PNP, civilian volunteer officers, barangay councils, traffic enforcers, etc. Tacurong Anti-Smoking Task Force (TAS-TF) was also created to take charge of the full implementation of the ordinance.
Aside from Councilor Sucaldito, other sponsors of the city’s anti-smoking law are Councilors Joseph George L. Lechonsito, and Benjamin P. Fajardo Jr. 
Jezereel Louise C. Billano
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