SABLAN, Benguet -- The Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) has now approved a resolution which urges the Sangguniang Bayan to enact an ordinance on the total ban of the sale of cigarettes in town.
The MAC's action was based on reports that some students in the municipality are seen smoking near school premises even during class hours, Outgoing Mayor and Vice Mayor-elect Arthur Baldo reported.
Comprised of the mayor, vice mayor, a representative from the legislative body, academe, senior citizen, women’s group, church leaders, youth, business sector, and non-government organizations—MAC serves as an advisory body serving as partners of the Sablan police as an overseer of the implementation of the Philippine National Police Integrated Transformation Program-Performance Government System.
Baldo cited that Sablan is a recipient of the Red Orchid award. As early as 2017, Sablan has consistently bagged the regional award, making it a Hall of Fame awardee with the towns of Lamut and Hungduan in Ifugao.
The annual DOH Red Orchid award seeks to recognize smoke-free offices of local government units, line agencies, government-run hospitals DOH-managed centers for health development and jail facilities that implement a smoke-free policy.
Baldo said they received the award for diligently implementing the No Smoking Ordinance.
Sablan approved its smoking ban ordinance in 2011, which prohibits any person from smoking in public utility vehicles, government-owned vehicles, public buildings, public places, enclosed public places or any enclosed area in the municipality.
The ordinance imposes fines on violators with a penalty of PHP500 to PHP2,000 or imprisonment of six months or both at the discretion of the court.
“We have to strengthen our campaign to protect those who are not yet inclined to smoke especially the students,” Baldo said.
Due to the incidents involving students seen smoking near schools not reported, the MAC meeting resolved that there will operatives to patrol school premises, soon.