Issue of September 9, 2018
     
NEWS
Benguet
Mt. Province
 
OPINION
 

2018
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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Smokers in construction site cause disturbance in school
by Aileen P. Refuerzo / PIO

Mayor Mauricio Domogan ordered the arrest of construction workers at Sto. Tomas National High School who allegedly continues to violate the Smoke-Free Ordinance despite dialogues between the school’s principal and barangay official.

In a memorandum to BCPO City Director S/Supt. Ramil Saculles and POSD Security Officer II Bromeo Lumiib, the mayor said apprehension is in order after dialogues between the construction company and the barangay and school officials failed.

Smoke-Free Baguio Task Force member and enforcer Joel Belinan said BCPO and POSD operatives proceeded to the site upon the mayor’s order but caught no one smoking.

“Since we found it impractical to linger and wait for any violator considering that the place is far from our stations and the operatives have other duties, we issued a warning that anybody who will violate the ordinance and will be identified by anyone from the school will be apprehended immediately,” he said.

School authorities were also advised to report any person who will smoke within the school premises.

The POSD report said Principal Rosanna Dizon complained about the rampant smoking within the compound by the workers constructing the four-story laboratory building which began last January causing discomfort and health risks to students and personnel.

The principal, on several occasions, called the attention of the project engineers but no remedy was undertaken.

The situation worsened in July resulting in the conduct of the first dialogue but no solution was reached prompting the parents, students, teachers, and non-teaching personnel to come up with a petition asking the workers to transfer their quarters situated near the classrooms to a site far from the classrooms.

Last Aug. 22, the problem reached the task force and the POSD enforcement team proceeded to the area last Aug. 28 and inspected the workers’ quarters. 

In their report, Belinan said they discovered numerous cigarette butts scattered, with the place reeking of cigarette  odor which the POSD men said proved that rampant smoking indeed happens at the site.

He said they met with the project engineer, school, and barangay officials and reiterated the suggestion to move their quarters but the engineer declined saying it will cost more.

When pressed for a solution, the engineer suggested for the principal to forward their complaint to the Department of Public Works and Highways and that the construction company “would use the same to request for the suspension of the project.”

“With the unexpected remark of the engineer, the meeting was concluded to the dismay of the barangay and school officials,” the report said as the POSD suggested that the mayor conduct another dialogue to finally resolve the problem.

As of press time, the POSD has yet to receive a report of violation from the school.


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