Councilor dares law enforcers; proposes smoking penalty hike
BY FELIPE V. CELINO
ROXAS City — Councilor Powell del Rosario challenged law enforcers to strictly implement this city’s Anti-Smoking Ordinance.
During the City Council’s recent session, he also proposed to increase the penalty stipulated in the Anti-Smoking Ordinance.
Ordinance No. 22–94 was authored by former councilor now Provincial Board member Eduardo Magallanes.
Section 2 of the ordinance states: “The penalties of the violation thereof will be: first offense, P50; second offense, P100; third offense, P200; and fourth offense, P300, or imprisonment upon discretion of the court.”
Public officials, who were supposed to set an example, were also the ones violating the law, del Rosario lamented.
“I have observed that the implementation of the law is not being taken seriously by the populace. This is probably because smoking continues to be popular with so many people, including (public) officials,” he said.
Del Rosario said smoking should be — once and for all — banned in all public areas.
Smoking in public, he said, is the same as driving drunk because they both endanger the lives of others. Meanwhile, health officials in the province are also campaigning for a smoke-free Capiz.
The Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) urged local officials in the different towns to pass an ordinance prohibiting cigarette smoking in public places.
A recent study by the World Health Organization noted the increase on mortality rate due to ailments caused by smoking.
This city is currently implementing its Anti-Smoking Ordinance, which was passed about a decade ago. Del Rosario, chair of the Committee on Police Matters, said he will also propose penalizing owners of establishments allowing smoking in their premises.
“We must take care of ourselves and of our country. I challenge the officials concerned to strongly impose the ordinance,” said del Rosario.
“This is not a request; this is the command of law,” he stressed./PN
Prov’l Board OKs P825-M 2011 budget
ROXAS City — The Provincial Board has unanimously approved this year’s P825-million budget for the province.
From the budget, P258 million will go to “personnel services,” or salaries of the provincial government employees, according to Board member Jeffry Layo, chair of the Committee on Appropriations.
On the other hand, the maintenance and other operating expenses or MOOE will get a share of P172 million, he said.
Also, P130 million was intended for the 20-percent development fund while P37 million will be allocated for the calamity fund, he added.
A series of budget hearings was conducted by the Committee of the Whole before the budget was approved.
The Provincial Board also approved the P66-million budget for the economic enterprise. (Felipe Celino/PN
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