City commissions barangays to enforce smoke-free, environmental measures

The 128 barangays have been commissioned to implement Ordinance No. 34-2017 or the Smoke-Free Baguio Ordinance and Ordinance No. 18-2016 or the Environmental Code of Baguio City in their areas of jurisdiction.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan issued Administrative Order no. 136-18 that decentralizes the implementation of the said ordinances to ensure their effectiveness in the grassroots level.

The mayor also ordered the creation of 16 Community Smoke-Free Task Forces representing each district to be composed of the medical officer of the district as the chair, sanitation inspector of the district as co-chair; the barangay captains or their smoke-free point persons; kagawad chair of the committee on health and sanitation; the Sangguniang Kabataan chair; district social worker; police sub-station commander; school representatives; civil society organization, business establishment representative; transport group representative; senior citizen group representative and others.

The mayor strongly advised against admitting persons or entity upholding or accommodating tobacco industry interest or connected in any way to the industry to protect the primary health objectives of the city ordinance.

The task forces will assume the following duties:

*Receive, review and process reports and complaints and notify deputized members to validate reports;

*Inspect and monitor compliance of all places covered by the Ordinance, check the appropriateness of the designated smoking areas and recommend the approval, suspension or revocation of licenses or permits and closure of non-compliant establishments;

*Conduct educational awareness campaigns on the ordinance, ill effects of smoking and exposure to second hand smoke and smoking cessation program; and

*Inspect the presence of appropriate Smoke-Free signages.

The mayor also tasked the group to document all activities conducted in line with the implementation of the ordinances and submit said monthly barangay smoke0free report to the district health center every first Monday of the succeeding month to be presented by the sanitation inspector to the district meetings.

“For the effective and efficient implementation of the said ordinance at the Barangay Level, a Community Task Force is needed to strengthen the implementation of the ordinance to ensure that the well-being of all its constituents are protected from the harmful effects of smoking and tobacco consumption, reduce potential exposure to tobacco marketing and advertising, restrict its accessibility and provide support and a conducive environment for tobacco users to quit,” the mayor said.  – Aileen P. Refuerzo