Mayor Orders Smoking Ban in Manila

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. ordinance / ˈɔr dn əns / (n) – a governmental law

    There is a city ordinance against smoking in public places.

  2. break the habit / breɪk ðə ˈhæb ɪt / (idiom) – to put an end to a habit

    I need to break the habit of staying up late.

  3. compel / kəmˈpɛl / (v) – to force someone to do a certain action

    The president compelled the citizens to support his new campaign.

  4. emulate / ˈɛm yəˌleɪt / (v) – to match the success of another action

    The small company tried to emulate larger corporations.

  5. eliminate / ɪˈlɪm əˌneɪt / (v) – to stop

    The new policy can help eliminate illegal practices.


Read the text below.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada [es-TRAH-dah] ordered an ordinance that prohibits smoking in public places in the city.

City Ordinance No. 7748 states that smoking in public places and enclosed areas such as hospitals, schools, public buildings, and shopping malls in the Philippine capital is prohibited. In addition, Manila City Hall employees will be allowed to smoke only in designated areas, which include areas near the city hall’s gates.

The 79-year-old mayor was a former smoker, but he decided to break the habit following his hospitalization in December due to asthma attacks. The ban was his way of compelling the residents of the city to follow his example.

The Manila smoking ban emulates an existing anti-smoking law in the southern city Davao, which sanctions violators with either a PHP 5,000 fine (around $100) or a four-month imprisonment.

Estrada pointed out that the smoking ban will also promote a cleaner environment. Prohibiting smoking will eliminate pollutants and garbage such as cigarette butts and leftovers.

Around 17 million Filipinos are smokers. According to a 2014 report by Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance, the country has the second highest number of smokers in the region, following Indonesia. Each year, the Philippine economy spends around $4 billion to cover healthcare and productivity losses resulting from smoking.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think that a ban can guarantee that people will stop smoking? Why or why not?
• What else could the government do to reduce the smoking rate in the country?

Discussion B

• What are common ways to ban smoking?
• Aside from improved health and a cleaner environment, what are other benefits of banning smoking?