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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, July 12, 2011
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Sanggunian okays increased
penalty for smoking in public utility vehicles

BY CHRYSEE SAMILLANO

An amendatory ordinance increasing the penalties for  violators of City Ordinance No. 84, Series of 1993, or the No Smoking Ordinance in Public Utility Vehicles of Bacolod City, authored by Councilor Caesar Distrito was approved during the regular session of the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod Wednesday.

Distrito said he proposed an increase in the penalties because it has been observed that more public utility vehicle drivers, as will as their passengers, smoke while their vehicle is in transit.

Smoking can affect the health of other passengers in the vehicle and could  lead to secondhand smoking diseases, he said.

Distrito said he has also proposed another amendment to the Ordinance that will deputize the Bacolod Traffic Authority Office to apprehend passengers and drivers who smoke inside public utility vehicles in transit.

The ordinance states that a driver, owner or conductor of the public and private utility motor vehicle found guilty of violating it for the first offense will be  fined of P300; for the second offense, P500; and for the third offense, P1, 000.

 For the fourth, and succeeding offenses, a fine of not less than P1,500 or  imprisonment of five days will be imposed at the discretion of the court, the ordinance said.

A passenger who is found guilty of violating if for the first offense will be fined of P300; for the second offense P500; and for the third offense, P1,000.  For fourth and succeeding offenses the penalty is  a fine of not less than P1,500 or imprisonment of three days, at the discretion of the court, it said.

The ordinance also said that a driver who fails to call the attention of passenger/s smoking inside the public or private utility motor vehicle will also be fined P100 for every passenger caught.*CGS

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