Monday, July 24, 2006

Smoking Ban in Legazpi City

There was a city ordinance declared late in my last year of high school that bans smoking in public places in the city. Legazpi City is campaigning to be a “smoke-free” city. That was a nice ordinance – I support it a full hundred percent. I hate passive smoking since it damages me more than the smoker himself. With that ordinance, passive smoking will be minimized.
I find it amusing the jeepney drivers that start to light their cigarettes when their jeepney went past the borders of Legazpi into the town of Daraga – and then throw their cigarettes when they pass the border of Daraga and Legazpi, entering Legazpi City.
I find it amusing when students go to the other side of Bicol University to smoke their cigarettes. You see, the large Bicol University main campus is in the Legazpi City-Daraga border - meaning one part of the campus is in Legazpi and one part is in Daraga.
There was once a time when there was a smoker in the public jeepney I rode. Then suddenly the driver said the smoker should extinguish his cigarette since its illegal and they might get into trouble. The smoker quickly threw his cigarette.
But there was one time a smoker was caught in the jeepney I was riding in by a cop on a motorcycle. The driver warned him too late and he was too late in throwing his cigarette, the cop already saw him. The cop made him come down the jeepney and gave him a ticket – but not before lecturing him that “smoking is illegal in public places in Legazpi, and that all Legazpenos should know the rule.” Not only that, the cop also lectured the driver that he is partly responsible for it because he did not told the smoker to throw his cigarette. After fifteen minutes, the jeepney finally was allowed to go. I admired that cop for that. But I saw him again weeks after the incident – with a comrade of his, another policeman, was smoking and he just looks on while his companion chain smokes in the middle of the city. Bummer! I cannot help it but only to smile in amusement.
I do not know if the “No Smoking” ordinance in Legazpi City will be effective. I can still see smokers smoking in public. Heck, back in high school, our principal was smoking in the front of our school – and my high school is in the Legazpi part of Bicol University. Sheesh…
I am not sure if Legazpi will really become a “smoke-free” zone. I can only hope – and wait and see.

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