San Juan City bans smoking in public
San Juan bans smoking in public
By FRANCIS T. WAKEFIELD
July 5, 2009, 8:40pm
The ordinance, known as “The Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance of San Juan City,” seeks to make unlawful for any person to smoke in a public utility vehicle, government-owned vehicle or any other means of public transport for passengers, accommodation and entertainment establishment, public building, public place, enclosed public place, or in any enclosed area outside of one’s private residence, private place of work, cars owned by the government or duly designated smoking areas, within the jurisdiction of San Juan City.
However, designated smoking areas will be provided for smokers.
The City Health Offices and City Engineer’s Office were earlier tasked to inspect and certify the appropriateness of the designated smoking areas provided by accommodation establishments, whether tourism-accredited or not, taking into consideration the purpose of the law which is to protect non-smokers from the pernicious effects of tobacco smoke.
The ordinance was authored by Councilors Dante E. Santiago and Councilor Rolando Bernardo.
“We are concerned with the welfare of the non-smokers and also the youth who, at an early age, already knows how to smoke. We want to protect them from the dangers of smoking,” Santiago said.
“The first reading was done Monday of last week. Next week magpapa-committee hearing na kami,” he added.
Santiago, who is the chairman of the Laws, Ethics and Justice committee of the San Juan City Council, explained, that 60 days after the promulgation of the ordinance, the City Health Office in coordination with the Business Permits and License Office (BPLO) will conduct an ocular inspection of all non-accredited tourism establishments in San Juan City to determine compliance with the requirements of the ordinance.
He said for tourism-accredited accommodation and entertainment establishments, the ocular inspection shall be conducted by the City Health Offices in coordination with the City Tourism Office and the BPLO.
He said a period of 60 days shall be given to the management of the accommodation and entertainment establishment to comply with the requirements of the ordinance.
Violators of the ordinance shall be subject to a fine of not less than P500 nor more than P2, 000 or imprisonment of not less that one month nor more than six months or both, at the discretion of the court.
Santiago said establishments that opted not to declare their establishments as totally free from smoking but fail to provide the appropriate designated smoking areas as certified by the City Health Office and City Engineer’s Office within the 60-day period, face revocation of their business permits.