Monday, August 18, 2008

Davao City's Non-Smoking Law A Farce?

Davao City joined the ranks of several European countries when the city government imposed a non-smoking rule on public areas and strictly regulated establishments with smoking areas. However, the hype created by the city's non-smoking regulation may just be a farce, with more establishments now allowing smoking in public without following the law to the letter.

The recent PLDT MyDSL affair and Kadayawan expo in Market! Market! in Damosa is a ase in point. A lot of people were smoking inside the tents unmindful of the presence of children inside and well, the existence of the no-smoking law. This happened within the "seeing" distance of various Philippine National Police officers. I even told one policeman "manong di ba bawal and smoking sa public places bakit yang mga taong yan di mo hinuhuli?" Smokers even abound inside the Market!Market especially the side near the parking area where there are restaurant stalls.

Another example of an establishment with very liberal smoking rules is Belly's Grill in Quirino. This is the place where the Sunday Riders usually hold their meetings but they usually disallow other customers in the open-air area when the Sunday Riders meet there. Belly's Grill is divided into two areas: the air conditioned area and the open air area where kids usually gather because it has a playground.

I asked the waitress why they allow customers to smoke there in the open-air area (but still with a roof) when there are plenty of kids around and with the non-smoking law in existence. She replied " sabi ng may ari pwede man daw mam!" One customer even had the gall to sit in one of slides where the kids are playing and smoke there. We told him to back off since there were plenty of kids there. Later on, the waiters started telling the smokers to just smoke near the grilling area.

Davao City's tennis courts are also not shielded from smokers. One example is the tennis court in SIR Matina where smokers smoke wantonly even with kids present and even when inside the club house. I caught one smoker and called 911 immediately. That was 9AM. I waited until 3PM but no 911 came. Sayang naman and budget nyo!

This is absurd. And Davao City's non-smoking ordinance is not just absurd, It is also a FARCE!

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