Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Monday implemented a smoking ban in the capital, emulating an existing law in Davao City where President Duterte ruled as mayor for 22 years. Estrada, through City Ordinance 7748, prohibited smoking in public areas in Manila, including the city hall.
At the town hall located in Ermita district, smoking will only be allowed at the Arroceros, Taft Avenue and Freedom Triangle gates. Violators of the ordinance will be arrested by city hall employees. Estrada was a longtime smoker himself but stopped the vice after he was hospitalized last December due to asthma attacks.
Around 17 million people, or nearly a third of the adult population, smoke in the Philippines -- the second highest in the region after Indonesia -- according to a 2014 report by Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance. Nearly half of all Filipino men and 9 percent of women smoke and experts say the habit costs the economy nearly $4 billion in healthcare and productivity losses every year.