By Paulo Loreto Lim
In light of reports regarding city residents caught smoking in public, a violation of City Ordinance 641, which prohibits smoking in public areas, Bacolod City Councilor Caesar Distrito clarified members of the Bacolod Anti-Smoking Task Force (BASTF) are not authorized to collect fines.
Those caught on their first offense are charged P500, P1,000 on the second offense, and P2,500 or 30 days behind bars on the third.
“Only the city treasurer cashiers, located at the old city hall, Bacolod City Government Center, the City Health compound, the Bacolod City Police Office, and Bacolod Traffic Authority Office are authorized to collect fines,” he explained. “Individuals or establishment owners who are apprehended should not give money to any members of the BASTF action team.”
He said action team members were issued identification cards with uniforms.
“If you suspect he or she is pretending to be a member of the action team and wants to collect the fine directly, ask for their name, their designation, and call my office immediately,” the councilor advised the public.
Earlier this week, BASTF reported 17 individuals were caught smoking in public, caught through operations conducted at Bacolod Central Market, Plaza Mart, and around the vicinity of La Consolacion College-Bacolod./PLL, WDJ