March 25, 2023
SMOKE-FREE PARK — The Smoke-Free Task Force headed by Mayor Benjamin Magalong and City Health Services Officer Rowena Galpo led the groundbreaking ceremony for the smoke-free park located in the vicinity of the City Hall. The park will symbolize the commitment of the city to continuously build an environment that is free of cigarette smoke and vape that is harmful to both the user and the people surrounding them. — Neil Clark Ongchangco

The construction of the Smoke-Free Park at a side lot that used to be a smoking area at City Hall will soon commence.
Smoke-Free Baguio Task Force Chair Mayor Benjamin Magalong and city council committee on health chair Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda led the groundbreaking ceremonies for the project on Jan. 23.
Both officials stressed the significance of the project, which symbolizes the city’s mission to effect a behavioral change among smokers towards embracing a smoke-free and therefore a healthy lifestyle.
“This park will serve as a monument to signify the importance of choosing to be healthy by freeing yourself from the bondage of smoking,” the mayor said.
The patch of land located across the Baguio Central School was adopted last year by the task force for development and maintenance under the adopt-a-park program of the City Environment and Parks Management Office.
The Cepmo designed the proposed park.
City Health Officer Rowena Galpo and Tobacco Control Officer Donnabel Panes said the selection of the former smoking site is symbolic of the city’s mission to curb the smoking problem en route to making the city totally smoke-free.
They said it is doubly significant considering that the area is also a stone’s throw away from two of the city’s biggest elementary schools where students usually pass en route to their schools. – Aileen P. Refuerzo