The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has lauded the Mandaluyong City Government for its continuous efforts to strictly implement and enforce its anti-smoking ordinance.
City Ordinance No. 671, otherwise known as the “Comprehensive Smoke-Free Ordinance of the City of Mandaluyong”, was enacted and approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Mandaluyong on July 17, 2017. It aims to regulate the use, sale, distribution, and advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco products within the territorial jurisdiction of Mandaluyong.
MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim said the agency recognizes the efforts of Mandaluyong in promoting better health and to reduce the prevalence of smoking-related diseases.
“I would like to express my warmest congratulations to the local government of Mandaluyong for its relentless efforts in the implementation and enforcement of a 100% smoke-free policy,” Lim said.
In a three-day Smoke-Free Environment Policies Training of Mandaluyong Barangay Captains and Enforcers held last month in Balanga City, Bataan, Mandaluyong City Mayor Carmelita “Menchie” Abalos shared their struggles and efforts to snuff out smoking in their city.
“We’re trying our best dito sa tobacco. Noong una po namin itong na-implement, nahirapan po tayo. Maski sa akin po ay madaming nagsusumbong na mga sari-sari stores kung saan kinukuha nila yung mga sigarilyo, nilulubog sa timba, binabasa. Siyempre, sari-sari store… we know maliit lang ang puhunan nila. And then kapag binasa mo yung sigarilyo, tapon na, wala nang ititinda yun. So, kung hindi po namin gagawin iyon, parang pababayaan lang namin. Useless yung drive to be tobacco-free,” Abalos stressed.
The city’s Smoke-Free Task Force (SFTF), together with the MMDA, has been rigorously monitoring the selling of tobacco products in public establishments, especially near school premises.
Mandaluyong SFTF is composed of police, city hall employees, and barangay officials.
Last year, a total of 6,283 smokers were apprehended in public places while 292 store owners were caught for selling cigarettes near schools, according to Col. Roseller Sta Maria, Chief of Mandaluyong City Ordinance Enforcement Division.
Meanwhile, Abalos discloses that the city is aiming for another Red Orchid Award and hoping to reach the Hall of Fame distinction just like Balanga City, Bataan.
MMDA believes that the Mandaluyong-LGU is eager to become a model smoke-free city not only in Metro Manila but in the whole Philippines.