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Online reporting system against smoking ban violations pushed

An anti-smoking group urged yesterday the Department of Health (DoH) to create an online reporting system for those who are violating the smoking ban.

New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP) president Emer Rojas said their group is hoping that DoH will be more pro-active in implementing the Executive Order (EO) No. 26, which banned smoking in public places nationwide, by creating a mechanism wherein citizens may report violations.

“We are hoping that the DoH will open a call center, use the existing DoH hotline or, at least, a social media desk, where concerned citizens may report violations of the smoke-free EO,” Rojas stated.

“By having such a mechanism, the government may be able to get reports of individuals, or even establishments, that do not adhere to the prohibitions set by EO 26,” he added.

And upon receiving the reports, Rojas further said, the DoH may have the necessary information to refer the violations to concerned local government units (LGUs).

“Being the ones mandated to enforce the provisions of the EO, the DoH can refer the reports sent to them to the concerned local Smoke-Free Task Forces for the proper action,” said Rojas.

The cancer survivor-turned-health advocate added that having such a mechanism would help avoid face-to-face confrontations between smokers and non-smokers.

“Through this mechanism, those who continue to suffer from second-hand smoke now have the opportunity to report violators,” said Rojas. (Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce)