By Restituto A. Cayubit and Marie Tonette Grace Marticio
Ormoc City – This city has stepped up its anti-smoking drive.
Mayor Richard Gomez told Manila Bulletin he led the City Health Office representatives and the city police station in taking down cigarette ads in stores and establishments within 100 meters of schools and barangay halls.
Gomez said the campaign is in line with Republic Act 9211 which bans cigarette advertising in areas and stores nears schools and where minors converge. The ban includes government buildings like barangay halls.
“We are an LGU,” he added, saying “the mayor is supposed to implement the law.”
He added that aside from Operation Baklas, the City Health Office has embarked on a city-wide information campaign on the public health risks of smoking.
Gomez said “people are not being stopped from smoking. They can smoke in their homes and designated smoking areas.”
The mayor is pressing for Ormoc to be a Smoke-Free City because it is nominated in the Department of Health’s Red Orchid Award under the LGU category.
The Red Orchid Award recognizes LGUs, government hospitals and government offices which have effective anti-smoking campaigns.