QC gov’t regulates use of e-cigarettes in public places

Marje Pelayo   •   March 20, 2019   •   1757

A vaper puffs out a big cloud of fruity-tinged vapour with his e-cigarette

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Quezon City government has approved a city ordinance regulating the use of electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes in public places, including advertisements and promotions regarding it.

On Tuesday (March 20) the QC government issued a press release that says Mayor Herbert Bautista has approved City Ordinance 2737-2018 which aims to protect the health and welfare of the residents of Quezon City.

It also includes provisions that will safeguard the interests of all stakeholders “including smokers who have the right to choose less harmful alternatives to cigarettes.”

The ordinance covers places of worship, hospitals or other healthcare centers, public conveyances, government offices, and educational or recreational facilities primarily intended for minors.

E-cigarettes will only be allowed in all enclosed places, whether public or private use, provided that the owner, operator or administrator of the establishment shall post: “USE OF E-CIGARETTES IS ALLOWED INSIDE” in each entrance of the building.

Private workplaces may designate a vaping area in open spaces with proper ventilation but shall not be the same room as the designated smoking area.

It is unlawful under the ordinance to purchase e-cigarettes from a minor, for minors to sell e-cigarettes, and for minors to purchase e-cigarettes.

Only direct marketing and online ads are allowed for e-cigarettes but must not appeal to audience 18 years and below.

The ads must specifically depict the use of e-cigarettes only to persons above 25 years of age.

It must not show or portray the actual use of e-cigarettes that will undermine quit-smoking messages and encourage non-tobacco or non-nicotine users to use the product.

All allowable advertisements and promotional materials for nicotine receptacles shall contain the health warning: “This product may damage your health and is addictive” occupying 10% of the bottom area of the advertisement.

  • Penalties for violations of the ordinance include:
  • First offense: Not less than P500 but not more than P1,000;
  • Second offense: More than P1,000 but not more than P2,500;
  • Third offense: Not less than P2,500 but not more than P5,000 and cancellation/revocation of the business permit or license to operate of the offender. — Marje Pelayo

QC gov’t flags milk tea shop for violating dine-in guidelines

Marje Pelayo   •   June 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government on Tuesday (June 23) warned a popular milk tea shop for violating dine-in guidelines issued by the national government.

On Tuesday (June 23), personnel from the city’s Business Permits and Licensing Department (BPLD) and the Quezon City Health Department (QCHD) inspected four food establishments to check on their compliance with the dine-in protocols.

The establishments visited were Shangri-La Restaurant on Times St, Infinitea and Gourmet Gypsy on Maginhawa St. and Banapple along Katipunan Avenue.

Of the four, the BPLD said Infinitea received a notice for violating Quezon City and IATF guidelines on dine-in procedures.

Authorities found out that the establishment lacked a thermal scanner, no health and safety officer on duty, and there was no logbook for customers.

“The logbook is very vital for contact tracing in the event na may mag-positive na isa na nagpunta sa store nila,” said BPLD head Margarita Santos.

Santos said her office will return to the store to validate if the necessary adjustments have been made in accordance with the guidelines.

The other three restaurants were cleared, according to Santos.

For complaints, Santos encouraged the public to report not through social media but through official platforms like the BPLD’s e-mail bpld@quezoncity.gov.ph or the city hall’s hotline numbers 122.

“Sensitive kami sa mga report sa social media pero ang pakiusap natin, huwag dito idaan ang reklamo, (We are sensitive when it comes to reports on social media but please do not post your complaints there),” Santos said.

“Mayroon tayong sinusunod na proseso upang mapanagot ang mga restaurant na hindi sumusunod sa panuntunan (There is a proper process for holding non-compliant restaurants responsible for their violations),” she said.

Meanwhile, DPOS Head General Elmo San Diego announced that the city government will ramp up its joint surprise inspections on food and other establishments that have been allowed to operate during the general community quarantine (GCQ) “to ensure that guidelines are strictly followed” while the city is trying to jumpstart its economy.

QC gov’t to begin first phase of bike lane project

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 17, 2020

The Quezon City Government is set to begin the first phase of its Bike Lane Network project to accommodate the increasing number of bikers in the city.

QC Mayor Joy Belmonte said they target to begin the implementation of the project by July.

“We are working double time on this project so that the increasing number of bikers in our city will be able to travel safely without other vehicles running over their lanes,” she said.

The city government is also drafting an ordinance to support this bike lane program, which will strengthen protection and support for the cycling community.

The first phase of the program includes the improvement or repairs of existing bike lanes. New bike routes are also identified to improve route connectivity while route signage and bike parking areas will also be included.

Belmonte is also coordinating wit the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to implement this program along Commonwealth Avenue, a national government highway.

“Commonwealth Avenue is one of the major thoroughfares in our city so it is fitting to include it in our bike lane network,” she said. AAC

QC offers more ‘Libreng Sakay’ to commuters

Marje Pelayo   •   June 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The local government of Quezon City has added two new routes to its Libreng Sakay program to help commuters catch a ride to and from their workplaces and other destinations.

“As we transition to General Community Quarantine (GCQ), we have to assist the people to adjust to the new normal and that includes going back to work,” said Mayor Joy Belmonte.

The Libreng Sakay program, which has dedicated 14 buses to ply two identified routes,  is available to the general public and Quezon City residents.

The said routes are as follows:

  • Route 1: SM Fairview – Quezon Avenue MRT (via Commonwealth Ave)

Starting point: SM Fairview

Pick up points

– Atherton / FCM

– Dona Carmen / Don Fabian (Wilcon)

– Litex

– Commonweath Market / Riverside

– Batasan

– Don Antonio

– Luzon / Tandang Sora (Puregold)

Drop off point: Quezon Avenue MRT

  • Route 2: Novaliches Bayan – North Avenue MRT (via Quirino Highway – Mindanao Ave)

Starting point: Nova Bayan

Drop off point: North Ave MRT

The city government has prioritized these routes due to the number of commuters who were stranded in these areas last Monday, the first day of the general community quarantine (GCQ) when several businesses were allowed to open.

“We recognize that a lot of people, mostly workers, are already returning to their offices but transport vehicles are few. We have to help augment,” said Assistant City Administrator for Operations Alberto Kimpo.

Kimpo assured that the city government duly observes social distancing and other necessary protocols while the program is being implemented.

“Our seats have been installed with markers to keep passengers apart. Wearing of proper face mask will be strictly observed and is expected of our passengers,” said Kimpo.

Mayor Belmonte has asked the public to follow the city government’s  guidelines, adding that their cooperation is vital in curbing further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Mahalaga ang kooperasyon ng bawat isa sa paglipat natin patungo sa GCQ. Kailangan natin ang tulong ng lahat para hindi na kumalat pa ang virus na ito,” said Belmonte.

Meanwhile, the Libreng Sakay program for frontliners is still on-going.

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