Health cmte continues discussions on proposed  anti-vaping ordinance

COUNCILOR Maria Lourdes S. Gaane, chair of the City Council committee on health and sanitation and health insurance, encourages concerned agencies to submit their comments and recommendations on the proposed Electronic-Cigarettes or E-Vaping ordinance.

This, after the committee last week thoroughly discussed the proposed ordinance implementing a comprehensive anti-vaping ordinance of Cagayan de Oro, prohibiting the use, sale, distribution and advertisement of electronic cigarettes in certain places within the city and for purposes.

LEGAL OPINION

The proposed law imposes a penalty of P500 or voluntary blood donation for the first offense; P1,000 or voluntary blood donation for the second offense, and fine of P3,000, or imprisonment period of not exceeding seven days for the third and subsequent offenses.

However, in his legal opinion, Atty. Ernesto Neri of the City Legal Office said the option to pay a fine or donate blood may expose said provision to constitutional infirmity.

Though it is public notice that some local government units have employed such measure, it is prudent for the council to reconsider, he cited.

Atty. Neri said in the event that the violator has no means to pay the fine, blood donation is no longer considered voluntary but a forced bodily extraction. Furthermore, if the person is not qualified to donate blood and could not afford the fine, what would be the alternative?” he cited.

The City Legal Office suggested that the committee considers other options such as community service or another less intrusive penalty at the option of the violator to remove clouds of doubt as to the reasonableness and constitutionality of the penalty.

Antonio Resma, representative of the City Legal Office, proposed that the committee adopts the suggestion of the legal counsel that community service and other penalties be considered.

“More options on the part of the violator. It’s either pay the fine, donate blood or if not, community service,” he added.

Councilor Gaane said all the comments and recommendations will be incorporated and will be discussed by the committee. (JBD)