THE anti-smoking drive launched by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority got a shot in the arm after another local government unit tightened its anti-smoking ordinance.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino hailed the city government of Navotas for adopting a measure similar to the one passed by the local governments of Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa, Caloocan and Parañaque cities banning smoking in public places.
“’Yung Navotas ay pinalawak na rin ang definition ng public places kung saan bawal ang manigarilyo kagaya ng sa apat na mga LGUs. Halimbawa yung sa Mandaluyong sinasaad ng kanilang ordinansa na “in the absence of a designated smoking area, the place becomes a non-smoking area at ang Caloocan ay pinagbabawal din ang paninigarilyo sa mga public places maliban dun sa mga designated smoking area,” Tolentino said.
Nearly all 17 LGUs in Metro Manila have anti-smoking ordinances but the five cities “redefined” the term public places to include open spaces.
The agency is currently finalizing preparation for the implementation of the anti-smoking drive starting July 1 when violators will be apprehended and fined.
Tolentino said they will implement the anti-smoking drive as scheduled despite opposition from some sectors.
He said the crackdown on public smoking is mandated by the Tobacco Regulations Act and by the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Tolentino also cited existing anti-smoking policies imposed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and LGUs.
The LTFRB bans smoking inside public utility vehicles and on major and minor thoroughfares. Alvin Murcia