Monday, February 22, 2016

Salceda steps up moves vs smoking in Albay
By Irene A. Solmirano

LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 22 (PNA) -- To further reduce, if not totally eliminate, smoking among employees of the provincial government of Albay, Gov. Joey Salceda has urged smoking personnel to enroll in the Provincial Smoking Cessation Program of the Capitol.

Salceda also tasked every PGA office to submit a list of employees interested to join the program to the Provincial Human Resource Management Office not later than Feb. 28.

He hopes that with this measure and with the full cooperation of PGA personnel, all PGA offices and workstations shall be able to establish a healthy workforce which, in turn, would result in a more productive service to the Albayanos.

Salceda has also issued a memorandum calling for the strict implementation of the provisions stated in the Albay Smoke-Free Ordinance passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in 2012.

The ordinance regulates the use, sale, distribution, and advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco products in the province.

The memorandum, which also reiterates the primary mandate of safeguarding the health of PGA personnel, instructs all the officers and employees of the PGA to observe strict compliance to CSC Memorandum-Circular No. 17-2009 which adopts and promulgates a 100-percent smoke-free policy and a smoking prohibition in all areas of government premises, buildings, and grounds, except for open spaces designated as smoking areas.

Subsequently, the memo-circular stresses the closure of all smoking areas that violate the provisions set on the guidelines issued by the CSC, which states: that the smoking area should be located in an open space with no permanent or temporary roof or walls; it shall not be located within 10 meters of entrances and exits; it shall be no larger than 10 square meters; there shall only be one smoking area per government building; no foods or drinks shall be served in the smoking area; and a smoking area signage should be highly visible and prominently displayed. (PNA) JMC/FGS/IAS/CBD/EBP