About 121 smokers have been apprehended since the Dumaguete City government started implementing its Smoke Free Ordinance on September 1, Joey Abella of the City Legal Office.
The violators included four foreigners, although only one was fined P500 for having been caught smoking in a public place twice. The others were issued citation tickets, he added.
Under the ordinance, first-time offenders will be reprimanded and obliged to attend a reorientation seminar on the dangers of smoking. Second-time offenders will be fined P500; and third-time and recidivist offenders will be fined P1,000, or imprisoned for five days, or both, depending on the discretion of the court, or a three-day community service.
Of those apprehended, 38 already attended the seminar. Violators who failed to comply will be charged in court, Abella said.
He said 80 percent of the fines will go to the barangay where the apprehension was made, and 20 percent to the city coffers.
The ordinance is being enforced by 160 deputized personnel from the police, traffic management office, city task force and barangay tanods.*RA
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