[ Press Release ] Smoke-Free City Task Force reminds establishments to renew DSA permits

Establishments with authorized Designated Smoking Areas (DSA) are required to renew their permits according to the new implementation guidelines that were adopted during the quarterly meeting of the Smoke-Free City Task Force on March 25, 2021.

Based on the data of the Smoke-Free Baguio Office, as of March 2021, 12 establishments in the city have authorized DSAs. However, all DSAs permits have expired and therefore considered as unauthorized.

The task force warned business owners that failure to renew DSA have corresponding penalties as stipulated in the City Ordinance of Baguio (COB) 34 series of 2017 or the Smoke-Free Baguio Ordinance.

Section 5 strictly prohibits smoking in public places or in unauthorized designated smoking areas. Under Section 8, establishments knowingly allowing, abetting or tolerating smoking in their buildings without DSA permit will be sanctioned for Php1000 on first offense, Php2000 on second offense, and P3000, imprisonment or revocation of business permit on third offense.

Councilor Joel Alangsab, principal author of the Ordinance, already reminded some of the  establishments with DSAs to renew their DSAs. The renewal of DSA is every January, regardless of the day of approval of the previous DSA.

“DSAs must be identified and inspected by the Task Force not by the establishment. The business owner must apply for a permit and must comply to the criteria and standards of a DSA as defined in the Ordinance,” Alangsab said.

Section 4 of COB 34 s 2017 requires DSAs to be open-space outside the building with no permanent or temporary roof or wall; must be 10-meter away from entrances, exits or any place where people pass or congregate; shall not have an area larger than ten (10) square meters and; where food and drinks are not served.

Moreover, in compliance to the COVID-19 health protocols, additional requirements were identified by the Task Force such as five (5) persons at a time in the DSA, maintaining of 1-meter physical distance of smokers or vapers, limited talking and time spent at the DSA and observance of proper hand washing before and after smoking or vaping.

Establishments seeking to renew or apply for a DSA may visit Smoke-Free Office-Health Services Office to secure an application form. Application form can be downloaded at http://www.smokefreebaguio.com.

City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO), Permits and Licensing Office (PLD), HSO Sanitation Office and Smoke-Free Office will be responsible for the inspection and approval.

This new guideline shall take effect immediately according to the Task Force.#SmokeFreeBaguio

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