In Koronadal, smoking is allowed… in the morgue
Written by Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews
KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/29 March) – You want to light up a cigarette while visiting the provincial hospital here? You’re welcome to do so but only at the morgue.
Oficials of the South Cotabato provincial hospital have issued a directive requiring persons who want to smoke to go straight to the hospital’s morgue.
“The law requires us to designate a smoking area so we picked the morgue,” said Dr. Edgardo Sandig, South Cotabato health officer.
Sandig said they decided to impose the rule because of the continued violation of the hospital’s “no smoking” policy by visiting relatives or acquaintances of patients.
Being a health facility, he said smoking should not be allowed within the hospital’s premises as might affect the condition of the patients.
“Try to visit our ER (emergency room) section early in the morning and you can see piles of cigarette butts scattered at the corridor leading to the main entrance,” Sandig lamented.
He said this became a big headache for hospital personnel but they could not also do anything about it because they are understaffed.
Sandig said they are currently coordinating with various groups to help them enforce the hospital’s “no smoking” policy.
He initially asked members of the local media who are covering the daily operations of the hospital to help apprehend smokers inside the hospital compound and lead them to the designated smoking area.
Sandig said they are also working for the strict enforcement of the total smoking ban in all public places in the area.
Section 24 of Republic Act (RA) 8749 or the Clean Air Act of 1999 prohibits “smoking inside a public building or an enclosed public place, including vehicles and other means of transport, or in any enclosed area outside of one’s private residence, private place of
work or any duly designated smoking area.”
Any violation of such provision, which was supplanted by RA 9211 or the Tobacco Regulations Act of 2003, constitutes a penalty of a fine of P10,000 to P100,000 or imprisonment from six months to six years.
Among Mindanao’s 27 cities, Davao City has been successfully implementing the smoking ban which predates the national smoking ban. (MindaNews)