December 8, 2022

Owners of establishments with authorized designated smoking areas (DSA) are required to renew their permits according to the new implementation guidelines recently adopted by the Smoke-Free City Task Force.

Based on the data of the Smoke-Free Baguio, 12 establishments in the city have authorized DSAs as of March 2021 but all DSA permits have expired and therefore considered unauthorized.

The task force warned business owners that failure to renew their DSA permit has corresponding penalties as stipulated in Ordinance 34, s. 2017 or the Smoke-Free Baguio Ordinance.

Section 5 of the ordinance prohibits smoking in public places or in unauthorized DSAs. Under Section 8, establishments that allow smoking in their buildings without a DSA permit will be fined P1,000 on first offense, P2,000 on second offense, and P3,000 and imprisonment or revocation of business permit on third offense.

Councilor Joel Alangsab, principal author of the ordinance, reminded some establishments with DSAs to renew their permit.

Renewal of DSA permit is every January, regardless of the day of approval of the previous permit.

“DSAs must be identified and inspected by the task force, not by the establishment. The business owner must apply for a permit and must comply with the criteria and standards of a DSA as defined in the ordinance,” Alangsab said.

The ordinance requires DSAs to be in an open space outside the building with no permanent or temporary roof or wall; must be 10 meters away from entrances, exits, or any place where people pass or congregate; shall not have an area larger than 10 square meters, and where food and drinks are not served.

In compliance to the Covid-19 health protocols, additional requirements were identified by the task force: five persons at a time in the DSA, one meter physical distance between smokers or vapers, limited talking and time spent at the DSA; and observance of proper hand washing before and after smoking or vaping.

Establishments seeking to renew or apply for a DSA may visit the Smoke-Free Office-Health Services Office to secure an application form, which can also be downloaded at www.smokefreebaguio.com.

The City Buildings and Architecture Office, Permits and Licensing Office, and HSO Sanitation Office and Smoke-Free Office are in charge of the inspection of premises and permit approval. – Press release