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Mt. Province to prohibit smoking in govt premises

BONTOC, Mountain Province—The provincial government here is set to implement a provincial ordinance prohibiting smoking within its offices and premises in a bid to enhance a healthy working environment, safeguard public safety and ensure the well-being of its employees and its clients.

Provincial Ordinance No. 218,  known as the “Anti-Smoking Ordinance of Mountain Province”,  will take effect after it is published in a newspaper of local circulation.

Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan said there is a need to protect their constituents from the dangers and hazards of smoking.

Cigarette smoking has been cited as one of the causes of non-communicable or lifestyle diseases, which are among the top causes of death among Filipinos.

The ordinance will hold liable not only the person smoking within the identified premises but also the department head or the officer-in-charge who knowingly allows, abets and/or fails to report violators to the Anti-Smoking Task Force or its deputized enforcers.

The task force will be created to implement, monitor and enforce the ordinance. It will be chaired by the provincial administrator with the following officials as members: provincial security officer, provincial health officer, chairman-SP committee on health, provincial information officer, the chief of hospitals of Barlig, Besao and Paracelis District Hospitals and others who may be designated by the governor.

Smoking will only be allowed in designated smoking areas which are open, outdoor spaces and at least 10 meters from the provincial offices and its premises.

Violators of the ordinance will be issued citation tickets which indicate the violation and the corresponding administrative penalty.

The ordinance is in support of the Civil Service Commission’s Circular No 17, S. 2009 which prohibits smoking in government offices, and Department of Health Administrative Order No. 10 S. 2009 which calls for an absolute smoking ban in DoH offices and encourages local government units to do the same in their health facilities and offices.

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