DAVAO CITY – Here’s a warning to all heavy smokers. The Davao City government will start imposing higher penalties for violators of the Anti-Smoking Ordinance that was amended by the 19th City Council and approved by Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
City Vices Regulation Unit (VRU) Dr. Ashley Lopez said the city had pushed for the higher penalties last year after noticing the increasing number of violators every year. She added that some smokers have been habitually violating the law.
Based on the penalties under the amended ordinance, the violators will now be charged P2,000 from P1,000 for the first offense; P3,000 from P2,500 for the second offense; and P5,000 for the third and succeeding offenses.
According to Section 10 (No Contest Provision), the liable person who was nabbed or cited for violating the prohibited acts and does not wish to contest, will be allowed to voluntarily pay an administrative penalty of P1,000 from P500.
“We noticed the same people have been violating the law because they can afford to pay P500 for the citation including the penalty, thus, the increase of the penalty against the smokers has been decided. We hope that they will quit smoking,” Lopez said.
Records from the VRU revealed that the office has apprehended an average of 10,000 violators per year since 2017 and collected around P8.1 million worth of penalties last year, the highest collection made by the City Government from the violators.
As of March this year, Lopez said, the VRU has collected a total of P1,771,200 in penalties. She added that the VRU is strictly implementing the anti-smoking ordinance 24 hours especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.