Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez stood firm in his conviction to make the city the 1st Green City under his administration. To this end, he vigorously tightened the reins on his campaign against smoking in public places including all centers of youth activities as follows: preparatory, elementary and high schools, colleges and universities both public and private, youth hostels, and recreation areas for persons under 18 years old. Even public comfort rooms, all places of worship, grocery and convenience stores, supermarkets, theaters, nursing homes, laboratories, public and private wet and dry supermarkets, gasoline stations, and premises of both public and private hospitals have also been declared as strictly no smoking zones.
He also required all buildings and establishment owners to apply for proper permits if they intend to put up smoking areas or notify the proper department of existing smoking areas in their respective places without proper authorization. He warned violators that they would be apprehended, pay the required fines, and be placed under other sanctions stipulated in the ordinance.
“We need to show how serious we are by putting our feet firmly down the necks of all violators,” stated Mayor Olivarez.
In this connection, City Administrator Fernando Soriano additionally stated that individual violators will be fined Php500 on their 1st offense, Php1, 000 on the 2nd, and Php1, 500 on the 3rd. For establishments: Php2, 000 on the 1stoffense, Php3, 000 on the 2nd and P5, 000 or closure on the 3rd offense. Said violators will be issued a Notice of Violation (NOV). It will be stated in the notice that the violator may either file a protest or promptly pay the corresponding fine. NOVs are deemed final and are to be executed should no protest be filed by the violator.
All owners of business establishments such as restaurants, sports clubs, night clubs and commercial buildings who intend to maintain smoking areas within their premises need to apply for the requisite permit from the city hall otherwise they will be subjected to penalties or even closure orders. Smokers are advised to suspend their habits while in Parañaque City to avoid inconvenience.
On his Facebook account, Mayor Olivarez cited City Ordinance No. 10-09 which is the “Anti-Smoking City Ordinance” enacted on February 4, 2010 during the incumbency of his predecessor, former Mayor Florencio Bernabe Jr., informing everyone that the city government is determined to strictly enforce all laws aimed at protecting the environment and public health. The said ordinance was principally authored by Councilor Jason Webb, mandating that the city hall and all public buildings are strictly no smoking areas.
“The only way that we can guarantee our campaign’s ultimate success is to leave an indelible mark so lasting that non-smoking has become a habit for generations to come. Now is the time to make that mark in history,” added Mayor Olivarez.