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Oro dads thank Davao for aid to Smoke-free task force

CAGAYAN de Oro City legislators of the 18th City Council has adopted a resolution expressing the city’s thanks and gratitude to the city government of Davao City headed by City Mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio, City Vice Mayor Bernard Al-ag, and Dr. Ashley G. Lopez, Head of Vices Regulation Unit, for extending invaluable assistance and sharing their experiences in the implementation of Davao’s Anti-Smoking Ordinance to the members of the Smoke-Free Task Force of Cagayan de Oro City.

This is in view of the special report of Councilor Maria Lourdes Gaane, chair of the City Council committee on health and sanitation and health insurance, on the strict implementation of the smoking ban in all public places in the city.

Gaane said the task force visited Davao City, which has been implementing a total smoking ban since 2002. Davao also strengthened its anti-smoking ordinance in 2012, which included a prohibition on electronic cigarettes, she reported.

“We were surprised by what we learned in Davao City. It is now illegal to smoke in any enclosed space. Designated Smoking Areas (DSA) are not allowed inside any building and is allowed only in open spaces with definite specifications,” she stressed.

Gaane added that Davao strictly imposes its No Smoking Law. “All government officials approached by Regulatory Unit Head as violators were dismissed from public service,” she reported.

The councilor said the city government of Cagayan de Oro is now taking a major step to prevent second-hand smoke from affecting non-smokers as the city implements President Rodrigo Duterte’s E.O. 26.

Gaane, who was designated as chair of the Smoke-Free Task Force created by Mayor Oscar Moreno, said series of hearings were conducted with regards to this.

The task force initiated massive information campaign, training of barangay tanods as force multipliers and educated building owners on the option of constructing its own DSA, Gaane said.

Councilor Gaane requested all public servants to follow such law as the city struggles to make this campaign as “painless and as all-encompassing as it has to be”.

“Grant us the tolerance and empathy as we try to save our youth from the dangers of second-hand smoking,” she appealed. (sp)

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