Biz closed for blatant, multiple violations of Smoke-free edict
A bar-cum-billiards joint became the first establishment to be closed by the city government for blatant and multiple violations of Ordinance 34 s. 2017 or the Smoke-Free Baguio Ordinance.
Personnel of the City Permits and Licensing Division, Public Order and Safety Division, the Baguio City Police Office, Smoke-Free Baguio Project Team-The Union, and the barangay padlocked the Agpad Bar and Billiards along Kabayanihan St. last Jan. 23 on the strength of the closure order issued on the same day by Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
The POSD on Jan. 17 recommended the revocation of the business permit of the establishment for repeatedly violating the ordinance which prohibits the use, sell/distribution and advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco products and e-cigarettes in certain places and imposing penalty of violation leading to the issuance of seven citation tickets by POSD enforcers and three by the barangay.
On the same date, the PLD team under Allan Abayao and the POSD contingent led by Security Officer II Daryll Longid conducted an ocular inspection of the place and found out that the establishment is in flagrant violation of the provisions of the ordinance, “thus the seventh citation was issued.”
The Smoke-Free Task Force said several reports from concerned local netizens and citizens reported violations such as smoking in a public place, allowing smoking, and selling cigarettes without permit to sell.
Apart from the smoking infringements, the establishment was also called out for being unsanitary.
In his order, the mayor noted that the PLD wrote a letter to Clifford Agpad to comment on the findings and show cause why his business permit should not be revoked and his establishment not be closed.
On Jan. 20, the PLD received a reply letter from Julie Fanasen and Denver Dupali stating that Clifford Agpad already ceased to be the manager of the business establishment and that the same is under their management at present.”
“Nevertheless, this office finds the justification having no merit for such flagrant violation of the said ordinance.”
Under Section 8 (a) (iii) of the Smoke-Free Ordinance, establishments that committed third and subsequent offenses are liable to pay P3,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months or both at the discretion of the court; and face suspension or revocation of business license.
Section 2 (g) of the Tax Ordinance mandates revocation of permit when a person violates any condition set forth in the permit which in this case it was stated that the “permit is subject to the compliance by permitee to all existing laws, ordinances, rules and regulations on the business, trade or calling granted to the permitee.”
Abayao said this should serve as a warning to other establishments committing similar violations even as Longid said they expect more establishments to suffer the same fate once they finalize their record of violations based on continuous monitoring. – Aileen Refuerzo and Catherine Toyeng