By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) began enforcing the city’s anti-smoking ordinance and the public smoking ban, implemented via executive order by President Rodrigo Duterte, resulting in the apprehension of 107 violators on the first day.
According to BTAO head, Police Superintendent Luisito Acebuche, their focus was on public utility vehicle (PUV) passengers.
He said violators claimed they were not aware of the policies.
First offenders are assessed a fine of P500 and have up to 72 hours to settle the payment, or face criminal liability.
Second offenders are fined P1,000, while a third offence may result in criminal charges.
Acebuche noted, if a minor is apprehended, they are sent to the Bacolod City Social Development Center, where a social worker will contact their parents.
He added, BTAO has not apprehended any drivers in violation of the policies./WDJ