The Smoke-free Ordinance of the City of Dumaguete aims to safeguard public health and protect the city’s inhabitants from the harmful effects of smoking and tobacco consumption. It has been one year since it has been implemented. Despite the good intentions that this ordinance presents, it is disappointing to note that the enforcers behind it are not receiving enough support from the local government and the general public. As a matter of fact, the task force assigned to it is running on the power of only three enforcers and on a minimal budget. In the university setting, it becomes an even more disappointing fact that the enforcement of the No Smoking Policy is not well implemented within campus. Just last week, some individuals were seen smoking at the
Hibalag area, in front of the Luce Auditorium and other places within the university during the Founders celebration. The policy has been existing for more than a year. But like its city-wide counterpart, the policy is not
being strictly followed. Ironically, its implementation became even more lax during the Founders celebration which supposedly needed more vigilance from violators.
Silliman University does not lack enforcers or the budget. This institution does not lack the manpower as it has many able bodied people who can keep watch of any violations occurring with its four walls. It also does not lack the means to properly implement the policy because it has all the right resources. The scarcity lies in the vigilance and concern of the community it stands for.
The Silliman University Administration should be more stringent in its implementation of the No Smoking Policy and train students, faculty and other sectors of its community to have the discipline required of them in making the campus truly conducive for learning and conducive for having a healthy lifestyle. It should not pattern its activity according to how the local government is treating the Smoke-free Ordinance. In addition, what something we can do that will surely create an impact and get the effective implementation process started is to strictly abide by the existing rules and report violations to authorities as soon as they are spotted.
There’s no quantum physics required in making Silliman University and Dumaguete City a cleaner, healthier place to be. All we need is just some elbow grease.
Tuesday, September 26, 2023