The Fall of the Anti-Smoking Campaign of Dumaguete

It’s a little rude to say that the Anti-Smoking Campaign of Dumaguete has fallen to ashes. Well some folks are claiming that even more people are smoking in heavily crowded public places. Personally I could attest that many people are disregarding or disrespecting the Anti-Smoking Ordinance of Dumaguete considering that there are a lot of people smoking at the Public Market area. My disgust even escalated when an usher (a government employee) at one of the newly renovated comfort rooms was smoking while handing out tickets.

They are also reports of motorcab (locals mistakenly call it as pedicab) drivers smoking while fetching passengers. Other issues include city government employees blatantly smoke at random public places. These are indicators that the Anti-Smoking Ordinance of Dumaguete is ineffective.

Some enforcers who are tasked to catch violators are afraid to exercise their duty. You should have a clue why. This is the primary reason why the anti-smoking campaign is leading to oblivion. Is the local government addressing this ‘situation’? I don’t know but I sure do hope so they are doing something to revive this supposed great ordinance.

One flaw of this ordinance is that the smoking population is asking the city to provide smoking areas for them. It is their right to smoke as no law prohibits them to do so. But, it also contradicts on the direction of the Anti-Smoking Ordinance of Dumaguete City. Why provide a smoking area when you are prohibiting people from smoking in public. It’s a total chaos and a clash of interests. But as for my personal opinion, to be fair for both the smoking and non-smoking public there should be common ground for understanding.

It is best to implement the Anti-Smoking Ordinance and be strict with it. But at the same time protect the interest and rights of the smoking public by providing them discreet smoking areas. Business establishments should have their own smoking areas while public places should have special smoking zones especially for tourists who aren’t familiar with the local anti-smoking ordinances.

Unfortunately, things aren’t going where it should be. No more enforcers are doing their job to keep the city “smoke free”. People are reluctantly smoking even in the presence of the Task Force Dumaguete personnel. Although my sentiments are with the non-smoking public, I just hope the smoking population should be so kind and considerate to do their thing somewhere more private. If the local government can’t do their job effectively, then let us be proactive and do make better changes in our little but beautiful hometown – Dumaguete City.

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