This is a very happy morning!

It was rather unusual but I loved it when I recognized the fresh air that welcomed me upon getting off the train. It may be the end of the day for me, since working in a call center requires me to follow Eastern or Pacific Standard Time, but I really value mornings like these.

Headed to the tricycle station, I took my blue earphones for some music, and noticed a group of people waving for some crowd’s attention. I saw three women and a man, with ages ranging from 30 to 50’s. Scattered on different areas around the vicinity of the LRT Monumento Station’s ground level, they wore uniform vests with “Anti-Smoking Campaign” prints on the back, holding a sign board saying “No Smoking”.

I continued to walk forward and saw another couple of women obviously from the same group, standing there, observing everyone that passes along the avenue including those inside PUVs (public utility vehicle).

photo by brucebeh
Then I remembered that the first of July is the launching of the Anti-Smoking Drive by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA). According to Philippine Star last July 3, 2011 at least 116 persons seen smoking in Metro Manila’s public areas were apprehended by anti-smoking personnel of MMDA and were issued violation tickets. There were around 60 violators from Caloocan alone.  The MMDA said smokers will be apprehended and issued tickets if they are spotted smoking in public areas and public conveyances as defined by Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Control Act. Violators are to pay a Php500 fine for their first offense, and will be prescribed three days’ imprisonment for third time offenders. They are supposed to pay the fine at the city treasurer’s office at the city hall. 

I’ve never tried to smoke and hated the smell of cigs that is why I am both excited and cynical about this new ordinance.  Experiencing hard time breathing when surrounded with smoke and despising its smell on my shirt made the top 2 spots of my reasons why I am so enthusiastic about the said ordinance.

Sweet Says... with everyone’s support, nothing is impossible to achieve. I certainly hope that our local government stands firm on this mission and not waste this wonderful project on procrastination. And just like any violations, I also wish that violators will not be encouraging our enforcers to receive cash in favor of them.

I wonder if higher taxes on cigarettes, tobaccos, or alcohols will be implemented next. 

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