Last year I published already a post about smoking in the Philippines and the possibilities to buy cigarettes everywhere, even in traffic jams and public places like markets, jeepney stops, bus stations and many more.

A few days ago it became public that the MMDA will implement a non-smoking policy in the whole Metro Manila, all 17 municipalities and cities. MMDA officers will be accompanied by police men to check for people if they are smoking in forbidden areas and places.
Smokers, beware: Starting this Monday May 30 2011, puffing away inside public transport, terminals, and other public places can result in uniformed personnel accosting you and imposing a fine.

Violators will be fined P 500 on first offense while those who cannot afford to pay the fine are obliged to render an eight-hour community service.
The stringent enforcement of a no-smoking policy within Metro Manila coincides with the observance of the 100 percent smoke-free environment campaign on Monday and the World No Tobacco Day celebration on June 1, 2011. In the announcement it is stated that the ban will be on major and secondary roads in the Metro.

The New York-based Bloomberg Philanthropies has approved a P 9.5 million grant to the MMDA to finance the anti-tobacco-use program.

See the links below if you like to know more:

Official MMDA announcement

GMA News

Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003


smoking !!! in the Philippines

Several comments on this issue can be found on the internet. I will just quote a few:

  • That’s a good intention, BUT WHAT about all the SMOKING cars, jeeps and buses. Is that more of a danger than smoking??
  • No smoking is great but how about 40 year old Jeepney’s and dilapidated wrecks of busses puking out pollution, that seem to be ok?

Together with President Noynoy I am a smoker and I also like to smoke when I am waiting for my ‘asawa’ when she is inside a shop or on the public market. From now on I have to be very careful and check first if it is allowed to smoke on that place, in that street.

“We should transform Metro Manila into a smoke-free community. A healthy Metro Manila is a healthy and progressive Philippines,” Tolentino added.


selling smokes in a smoking (belching) area?

Now this ‘smoke ban’ will be implemented I am wondering about the smoke belching jeeps, trucks and busses, which are responsible for a thick smog in the Metro every day. I believe that being in the streets of Manila for 5 minutes does more harm then being a passive smoker for 10 years.
Wouldn’t it be time for MMDA and the police force of the Metro to remove all those smoke belching Jeepney’s, busses, trucks, tricycles, personal cars and others from the streets? Only when that’s done the streets of Manila will be clean and the city will be livable for everyone.
Or is this ‘smoke-ban’ only implemented to receive the 9.5 million so more than half can be pocketed by the officials?
It is my opinion that after a few weeks, no one will check the smoking anymore in the streets, just in public places, schools, malls en markets it won’t be allowed to smoke, but that is already so for some time and nobody (including me) objects to that.