The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has issued implementing guidelines on its no-smoking policy along the major and secondary thoroughfares of the metropolis.
MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino said the agency will focus on areas where many people converge like PUV terminals and entrance of shopping malls. In these places, the MMDA stressed, many of the so-called "street chimneys" pose as health hazards to non-smokers.
The MMDA has started implementing the policy but violators are only given a warning instead of being issued the environmental-violation ticket (EVT). Issuance of the EVT will start on July 1.
Tolentino said the MMDA will deploy three-man anti-smoking teams that are composed of a spotter, an enforcer in charge of issuing the EVT and a cameraman. Each violator will be required to show a government identification card for record purposes.
The MMDA anti-smoking teams will not accept payment of P500 fine from violators. Instead, violators will be required to settle their obligation at an MMDA-accredited bank. Those who cannot afford to pay the fine will be forced to engage in eight hours of community service. Rules on community service have yet to be drafted by the agency.
The MMDA will also seek the assistance of the Philippine National Police for the establishment of holding areas for violators of the no-smoking policy.
If you were caught violating the MMDA's no-smoking campaign, would you rather pay P500 or get involved in community service?