Known for its clean and safe locality, Davao City has actively promoted and enforced its anti-smoking ordinance. Apparently, the city is the leading example in taking steps towards a smoke-free Philippines long before the National Tobacco Control Law of 2003 and the implementation of the tobacco control measures to strengthen anti-smoking policy promoted by the City Mayor.
Since the approval of the original Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance in 2002, the city have had continuous updating of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the ordinance in order to achieve clean air environment, thus promoting the health and welfare of its citizens.
The ordinance prohibits smoking in all public places and enclosed area but has an option for designating a smoking area – provided establishments pass through a series of rigid inspections by the Anti-Smoking Task Force. The ordinance sets out that a “designated smoking room” must be a totally enclosed space with proper ventilation and certified by the City Health Office and City Engineer’s Office. The ordinance also extends smoke-free places to some public outdoor spaces where people congregate to be together or attend concerts, rallies and other events.
Ten years after the enactment of the Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance of 2002, the City council legislated Ordinance No. 0367-12 series of 2012 also known as “The New Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance”, modifying some provisions of the previous rule. The said ordinance repealed inconsistent provisions of original comprehensive anti-smoking ordinance.
The Davao City Anti-Smoking Task Force, will issue citation tickets to those individuals who will be caught violating the new law. According to Dr. Domilyn Villarreiz, the Anti-Smoking Task Force Head, citation tickets will indicate the specific violation and the corresponding administrative penalty. The person issued with the ticket has the option to either contest the violation in court or voluntarily pay the penalty of P500 imposed upon him or her to avoid being criminally prosecuted within 3 days from apprehension.
The no contest provision can only be availed once and that the violator must undergo counseling on smoking cessation. Failure to undergo counseling still warrants the filing of a case in court.
Aside from the issuance of citation tickets, the ordinance prohibits smoking of any tobacco product including e-cigarettes, shishas and the like, in all accommodation and entertainment establishments, workplaces, enclosed public places, partially enclosed public places, public buildings, public outdoor spaces and all public conveyances, government-owned vehicles and other means of public transport within the territorial jurisdiction of Davao City.
Similarly, the designated smoking area of commercial and business establishments must be located in an open outdoor space with no permanent or temporary roof or walls located 10 meters away from entrances or exits with an area not larger than 5 square meters. All establishments caught violating this provision will be fined a maximum of P5,000 or 4 months imprisonment.
To educate the people of Davao, the Anti-Smoking Task Force have conducted a series of orientations to concerned parties including officials of the barangay, school administrators, restaurants owners and managers, tourism establishments and other business establishments supervisors to inform them of the new anti-smoking ordinance.