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Congressman accuses tobacco firms of bullying small cities.

By Mar Supnad

BALANGA CITY, Bataan -- A first-time congressman has accused giant tobacco companies of bullying small cities, particularly those taking a tough stance against smoking in public places.

Speaking at the 4th Meeting of Asia-Pacific Parliamentarian Forum on Global Health held here recently, Bataan 2nd District Rep. Joet S. Garcia called for active social mobilization to counter the "bullying" of tobacco companies.

Garcia's action came after the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Balanga City recently ruled in favor of cigarette makers, declaring illegal the Balanga City Anti-Smoking Ordinance, raising eyebrows among local officials and newsmen here.

"The City of Balanga is facing a big challenge against the tobacco industry. What we need is that the people in the grassroots get to know this bullying that puts our families lives in danger," he said.

For his part, Mayor Francis Garcia of Balanga explained that with strict prohibition of smoking as well as limiting of night bars, tourism and economy in the city improved.

"More businesses were recorded, tourist arrival increased and the number of smoking individuals decreased with the implementation of Tobacco Free Generation (TFG) program," the mayor said.

Balanga is a hall of famer in the Red Orchid Awards of DOH that recognizes institutions which are 100 percent tobacco-free. The city is also the Guinness World record holder for the largest dance fitness class staged in 2016 as part of its TFG campaign.


Bataan 2nd District Rep. Joet S. Garcia (Facebook / Manila Bulletin)

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Title Annotation:Luzon
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Sep 17, 2018
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