Issue of July 7, 2019
Mt. Province
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For family’s sake

This near-sighted Ibaloy writer starts this week’s piece on a sad note with the recent passing of two of Baguio’s and the Cordillera’s great sons in Bishop Carlito “Otto”Cenzon and journalist Ramon “Mondax” Dacawi. They were staunch environmentalists, unselfish mentors, and more. They will be missed.

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“If you love your family, relatives and friends, you should quit smoking cigarettes or vaping because second or even third-hand smoke can damage their health.”

This was the emphatic challenge of Councilor Joel Alangsab during the unveiling of a “no smoking and vaping” signage recently at the Hilltop market waiting shed with Rep. Mark Go and other local government, health, police, and barangay officials and members of the Smoke-Free Baguio Task Force (SFBTF).

Seven similar signages will also be put up in the city’s parks, including four larger signages along the major entryways to the Summer Capital to remind visitors that Baguio is a “smoke-free city,” according to Cecille Agpawa of the SFBTF.

Alangsab said his beloved father died of a tobacco-related disease that discouraged him from acquiring the deadly smoking habit. The sad event also inspired the alderman to be the principal author of the Smoke-Free Baguio Ordinance despite alleged opposition from several tobacco companies and vaping groups, even up to now.

He points out that the Smoke-Free Baguio Ordinance adopted in 2017 is unique from the national ordinance since the ordinance also prohibits and penalizes vaping or smoking e-cigarettes.

The ordinance prohibits the use, sale, distribution, and advertisement of cigarettes/e-cigarettes and other tobacco products in certain places, imposing penalties, and providing funds thereof.

If caught smoking or vaping, penalties are P1, 000 fine for first offense; P2,000, second; and 3,000, third offense. Penalties for sales/access restriction, ads, and promotion are P2,000, first offense; P3,000, second; and P5,000, third offense.

Subsequent offenses are punishable by fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months or both at the court’s discretion and suspension or revocation of business license or permit, if applicable.

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FYI: The creation of at least three evacuation centers spread throughout Baguio is one of the priorities of Mayor Benjamin Magalong, according to City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) staff member Glenn Lardizabal.

Magalong, the incoming chairperson of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC), met with CDRRMO officers recently to discuss how to strengthen and enhance the city’s capabilities and preparedness in times of calamities.

Lardizabal added that Magalong is keen on making the CDRRMO building, located at the City Engineering Office compound, Lower Rock Quarry, as the sole command and control center during calamities to centralize information for greater efficiency and lesser confusion to occur.

This was disclosed during the CDRRMC’s 2ndquarterly meeting at the CDRRMO presided by its head Yolanda Munar. In attendance are representatives from various local and national government offices and agencies, volunteer groups, non-government organizations, and others. Cheers!

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Here’s “Kafagway, Part II” by this near-sighted Ibaloy writer’s naughty poetic twin Gabriel Baban Keith: “Baguio is an Ibaloy/ Paradise/ Lost/ Outsiders have taken Over/ This once proud Ibaloy/ Nation/ Nothing is spared/ Even Bag-iw’s forest/ Reservations and/ Public lands/ Are squatted on/ By those who are/ More united/ More aggressive/ More cunning/ More connected/ Than Kafagway’s native/ Sons and/ Daughters/ Bow down your/ Heads and/ Weep/ Baguio is an Ibaloy/ Paradise/ Lost”

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We’re on air Wednesdays, 8 a.m., over K-Lite 96.7 FM, with Fiona Quinn and every last Tuesday of the month at 3 p.m. for “City Hall Hour” over SkyCable, DZEQ Radyo Pilipinas, and Big FM.

May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.

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