The city government’s Vices Regulation Unit (VRU) reported an increase in the number of apprehensions for violations of the anti-smoking ordinance and the liquor ban in the first half of the year.
Head of the VRU Dr. Ashley Lopez, said the number of apprehensions reached 9,116 from January to August, which resulted in fines amounting to PHP5.3 million.
In comparison, the VRU only netted 6,302 apprehensions in the same period last year.
Lopez said they would propose stiffer penalties against smoking and liquor ban violators to dissuade people from smoking and regulate their drinking.
He attributed the increase in apprehensions to the VRU’s intensified campaign against violators.
He said the VRU “quit smoking” campaign targets students who began smoking cigarettes at an early age.
Meanwhile, Lopez noted that a small portion of the total apprehensions involved tourists.
“We no longer give warning to our foreign visitors because the moment they arrive here, they are already informed — through the airlines, ships, and even media campaign, about our laws,” he explained.
Lopez said that repeat violators would be charged in court.
“Those who will be apprehended repeatedly will face fines, penalties, and even imprisonment,” he said. (PNA)
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