DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 6 Jan) – The 24 7-Eleven chain of convenience stores here have already complied with the city’s anti-smoking policy after more than a month since City Administrator Jesus Melchor V. Quitain warned them of revoking their business permits.
In an email on Monday, Dr. Domilyn Villareiz, co-chair of the Anti-Smoking Task Force, confirmed that all 7-Eleven establishments have already given up the selling of cigarettes or any tobacco products.
Business Bureau’s Lawrence Bantiding, City Building Office’s Joseph Felizarta, and Villareiz met with the 7-Eleven management on Tuesday.
“We will update you next week if they will choose to continue selling cigarettes and remove their refreshment parlor or otherwise,” Villareiz said.
In a letter dated November 23, Quitain said that the convenience stores violated City Ordinance No. 0367, otherwise known as the “New Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance of Davao City” based on the investigation conducted by the Anti-Smoking Task Force.
He stated that 7-Eleven stores have been found “selling cigarettes, as well as selling and serving fast foods in your premises. Your establishment is classified as Accommodation and Entertainment Establishments as defined under Section 3.”
Under Section 3, all establishments classified under accommodation and entertainment or “establishments that provide food, accommodations, drinks, merchandise, entertainment or other professional services” are not allowed to sell cigarettes.
Stores located within 100-meter range from schools are also not allowed to sell cigarettes.
Under Section 9, first-time offenders will be fined P1,000 or one month imprisonment or both at the discretion of the court. For second offense, a penalty of P2,500 or two months imprisonment while third and subsequent offenses will be fined P5,000 or four months imprisonment.
The ordinance prohibits smoking in public conveyances, government-owned vehicles, accommodation and entertainment establishments, workplaces, encloses public places, public buildings, and public outdoor spaces such as cemetery, markets, and terminals.
Under Section 7 of Executive Order No. 4, it stated that “the selling of cigarettes or any tobacco shall not be allowed inside the accommodation and entertainment establishments, and public buildings.”
However, the city allows smoking in designated areas, provided they are located in an open-space with no permanent or temporary roof or walls in an outdoor area and shall not be located within 10 meters of entrances, exits or any place where people pass or where people congregate.
Also, a designated area should not have an area larger than five square meters and the ordinance allows only one designated area per establishment. The selling of food and drinks is also not allowed in designated smoking areas.
The ordinance mandates establishments to have “a highly visible and prominently displayed ‘smoking area’ sign and a graphic depiction and corresponding explanation of the ill-effects of smoking to the smoker’s health or exposure to secondhand smoke. Under no circumstances shall any work, device, word or image associated with any tobacco company or product be included in any of these signs and materials.”