Gov't team to ensure that Davao City truly becomes 'smoke free'

Subscribe Now March 04, 2020 at 08:41am

The city government here is eyeing the permanent removal of designated smoking area (DSA) in all establishments, an official said.

Vice Regulation Unit (VRU) head Ashley Lopez said in an interview last Wednesday (Feb.26), this was meant to address one of the city’s efforts in campaigning for a smoke-free Davao.

“We do not want to see anyone smoking in public places. We have been campaigning as a smoke-free Davao for the past 18 years and although there are some significant changes, (but) we still have yet to get the true implication of the words “smoke-free Davao,” he said.

Lopez said he will be proposing “the abolition or cancellation of issuance of designated smoking area in establishments (both public and private)” in a meeting to be conducted this month by the city government with various concerned departments and agencies involved in implementing the anti-smoking ordinance of the city.

“We have been campaigning for an anti-smoking program and maybe it is high time for us to really take it seriously,” the VRU head said.

Lopez said the main priority establishments for the implementation of this measure are schools, factories, companies, malls, and restaurants, as they are continuously intensifying the campaign on anti smoking among workplaces here in the city.

“Lahat ng establishment sa Davao City we would like to impose a smoke-free environment among these workplaces. Lahat, especially mga business sectors (BPOs for instance),” he said.

Lopez said there will be specific guidelines to be provided for these workplaces to follow so as for them to be declared as a smoke-free establishments.

“(There will be) one strict guideline (that) we are going to impose. (That) if (you) are going to declare (the area) as a smoke-free workplace it should no longer have designated smoking area within its premises.

Once this measure is imposed, the VRU will be inspecting workplaces around the city and they will be provided with a checklist which will be in compliance with the VRU’s requirements on declaring the establishment as smoke-free workplace.

“To implement this in a particular workplace or community, we (will) provide guidelines for the inspection. And probably after the inspection there will be one physical assessment (of the establishment) and eventually we will provide a certification.

Lopez said, “aside from the present and ongoing protocols in anti-smoking, the biggest change (impact of this) is that there will no longer be any DSAs in any places in the city be it public or private.”

“If 80-85 percent of the establishments here will be declared as smoke-free, then that is the time that we can already say that Davao City is a smoke-free city. We have been declaring the city as a smoke-free (city), but it is still not,” Lopez said.

This abolition of the designated, Lopez added, is only a temporary step but would slowly enforce the smoke-free campaign among the establishments to the point of limiting it or containing it in just one place.


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