MANILA, Philippines -- Starting June 23, smoking has been banned in all the premises, facilities, buildings, and stations of the Light Rail Transit Authority.
The directive is contained in a memorandum issued by LRTA Administrator Melquiades Robles who said that the policy was in line with that of the national government "to institute a healthful environment, protect the citizenry from the hazards of tobacco smoke, and promote the right to health of the non-smoking individual."
LRTA operates Line 1 from Baclaran in Parañaque to Monumento in Caloocan and Line 2 from Santolan in Marikina to Recto in Manila.
June is also known as No Smoking Month.
Citing a study commissioned by the World Bank, Robles said that about four million people died from tobacco use every year, and this figure was expected to rise to about 10 million by the 2020s. In a decade, current smoking trends show that tobacco use would cause about one in eight deaths, it said.
"Tobacco has been touted as a silent killer and remains a major killer among our people even today," he said, this time citing a 2001 World Health Organization (WHO) study, which says that the Philippines is the 15th biggest consumer of cigarettes in the world, and the largest cigarette consumer among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Republic Act 9211, or the Philippine Tobacco Regulations Act, prohibits smoking in public places, covering elevators, stairwells, hospitals, airports, ship terminals, train stations, public utility vehicles, and restaurants all over the country, and requires the designation of a smoking area.