Local health and police authorities have admitted they are having difficulty implementing the national anti-smoking ban policy of the Duterte administration.
City Health Officer Dr. Ricardo Panganiban said they want to strictly implement the smoking ban in all public places but admitted its difficulty.
“You can’t ban lifestyle. Kahit anong sabihin mo na bawal ang behavior nasa tao pa din, lalo na kung sila lang ‘yung nandoon sa place na ‘yun mababantayan mo pa ba sila pero syempre as it is ban nga ayaw naman natin na magkaroon na ito ng epekto sa publiko,” Panganiban said.
Panganiban also said that smoking in public places poses a high risk factor to the health of the people, as the practice can cause lung cancer and other diseases mostly to vulnerable people such as babies and pregnant women.
He also said that the order also mandates to protect and save secondhand smokers from the possible health risks that smoking can bring.
Mendoza PNP Chief Police Senior Inspector Mark Allen Palacio said in a phone interview that they are waiting for the rules and regulation of the smoking ban but as of now PNP remains vigilant when it comes to implementation of the order.
“Hinihintay pa namin ang rules and regulation pero ang maganda dito ay ‘yung iniimplement ng Oplan Linis at kapag nakita ng mga pulis na may naninigarilyo ng public ay pwede silang sitahin ng mga pulis,” he said.
City Councilor Roy Ventura said the Council has already passed a resolution to implement the executive order.
“Mayroon na kaming naipasang ordinansa tungkol d’yan at ‘yung PNP ‘yung may Police Power d’yan pati City health kasi gusto natin protektahan ang kalusugan ng mga secondhand smoker natin,” Ventura said.
As of now, according to Panganiban, City Health Office with other LGUs and PNP are strictly supporting the Nationwide Smoking Ban and calls for the attention of all individuals to collaborate for its fully implementation in the city.