A town near Baguio is considering a total ban on the sale of cigarettes in order to stamp out smoking among the young, particularly students.
Sablan town’s Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) has approved a resolution urging the Sangguniang Bayan [town council] to enact an ordinance on the ban, an official said today (Thursday, June 13).
Outgoing Mayor — and Vice Mayor-elect — Arthur Baldo said the MAC’s action was based on reports that students had been seen smoking near school premises, even during class hours.
The MAC is composed of the mayor, vice mayor, a representative from the legislative body, academe, senior citizen, women’s group, church leaders, youth, business sector, and non-government organisations. It operates in partnership with local police.
Baldo said Sablan is a holder of the Department of Heath’s (DOH) Red Orchid award. As early as 2017, Sablan has consistently bagged the regional award, making it a Hall of Fame awardee with the towns of Lamut and Hungduan in Ifugao.
The annual award seeks to recognise smoke-free offices of local government units, line agencies, government-run hospitals DOH-managed centres for health development and jail facilities that implement a smoke-free policy.
Baldo said they received the award for diligently implementing the no smoking ordinance.
Sablan approved its smoking ban ordinance in 2011, which prohibits any person from smoking in public utility vehicles, government-owned vehicles, public buildings, public places, enclosed public places or any enclosed area in the municipality.
The ordinance imposes fines on violators with a penalty of 500 to 2,000 pesos or imprisonment of six months or both.
“We have to strengthen our campaign to protect those who are not yet inclined to smoke especially the students,” Baldo said.
During the MAC meeting, Captain Cyril Tubongbanua, the own’s chief of police, said officers would begin to patrol school premises to stamp out on students smoking cigarettes.
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