July 18, 2024

The Smoke-Free Task Force Baguio-led clean-up activity at the park beside the Baguio Convention Center last July 14 sent a strong message to persons using the place as a smoking area to keep off.

 In a short program that capped the clean-up drive, the task force chaired by Mayor Benjamin Magalong along with Councilors Betty Lourdes Tabanda and Levy Lloyd Orcales emphasized the need to protect residents from the dangers of smoking especially in public places where smoking is prohibited.

City Health Services Office Tobacco Control Program Coordinator Dr. Donnabel Panes said the task force received complaints that the park near the city’s central triage and isolation facility is being frequented by smokers.

“We received reports including from barangay officials that motorists parked at the place, tourists, residents and even workers from nearby call centers are using the spot as smoking area and the task force had to do something to stop this,” Panes said.

True enough, wastes gathered from the site included cigarette butts and wrappers.

The task force warned those who will continue to smoke in the area can be liable to Ordinance 34-2017 or the Smoke-Free Ordinance of Baguio City which prohibits the use, sale, distribution and advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products in public places. 

Clean-up drive participants came from Engineers’ Hill barangay, Baguio City Police Office, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Smoke-Free Benguet Task Force, Sanitation Division of the CHSO, Mental Health group, Public Order and Safety Division, City Environment and Parks Management Office, Lions’ Club, student interns, triage personnel and physicians. – Aileen P. Refuerzo