By Jelanie Rose T. Elvinia
Dumaguete needs residents, especially students, to make the city’s smoke-free ordinance a success by spreading information about it, a city official said.
Joey Abella of the city legal office said the ordinance has been around for two years now but has not been strictly enforced because of lack of information dissemination.
“Help us with the information drive and leave the implementation to us,” he said.
Abella added that the city is inviting everyone, especially students, to the smoke-free ordinance’s second anniversary commemoration this September.
City Administrator William Ablong said the local government wants students to be their partner in the information drive.
“We need practically as many stakeholders as we can and students can be one of them. At the same time, we would also like to teach students not to smoke so they themselves will become advocates of the smoke-free ordinance,” he said.
As a partner of the city government, the Environmental Journalism 53 class of Silliman University helped in the reiteration and information dissemination of the ordinance.
Last Jan. 13, the students endorsed their book of studies, findings and recommendations about the ordinance to Ablong.
“We are so eager to receive their report and recommendations, which we will take into consideration as proposals for amendments to the ordinance,” Ablong said.
He added that the city is currently processing the renewing of permits for business establishments and would like to take the opportunity to remind establishment owners to create designated areas for smoking.