Sunday, May 29, 2011

Public Places in Metro Manila on Smoking Ban

Smoking in public places in Metro Manila will cost you Five Hundred pesos (P500). The implementation of this ordinance, which was initiated by the MMDA and local government units, will start on May 30. This will coincide with the World No Tobacco Day. The program dubbed as "100% Smoke-Free Metro" is aimed to put Metro Manila as a smoke-free capital by 2012. "We should transform Metro Manila into a smoke-free community. A healthy Metro Manila is a healthy and progressive Philippines," MMDA Chairman Tolentino said.

Covered Public Places

According to MMDA, the anti-smoking drive is only an expansion of the existing program. Currently, smoking in goverment institutions is prohibited. City and municipal officials agreed with the MMDA to expand the coverage and included bus and jeepney terminals, loading and unloading bays, pedestrian passes, schools, hospitals, and youth recreation centers.

A 100-meter perimeter prohibition from the public areas will be implemented also. Warning signs and billboards will be placed in these places to warn smokers.

Fines and Community Service

First time offenders will be fined P500 and those violators who can't afford to pay will be required to render 8 hours of community service.

The MMDA clarified that apprehension can only be made by authorized MMDA environmental enforcers. They will be issuing tickets starting July. Local government units will also help in the implementation of this ordinance.

10 Filipinos Die Every Hour

According to the Department of Health and World Health Organization, smoking kills at least 10 Filipinos every hour which translate into 80,000 deaths every year. Smoking is also the leading cause of lung cancer. A cigarette stick contain at least 4,000 chemicals. MMDA said that they want to protect non-smokers with this program.

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