UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Bishops urge nationwide smoking ban
Manila campaign should be extended to protect public health, prelates sayHealth officials announcing the observance of No Tobacco Day on Monday (Photo: Department of Health)
- Mike Pelaco and ucanews.com staff, Manila
- June 3, 2011
In separate interviews on Church-run Radio Veritas, Bishop Jose Oliveros of Malolos, head of the Episcopal Commission on Bio-Ethics of the Catholic Bishopsâ€™ Conference of the Philippines, and Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao said smoking is harmful not only to smokers but also to non-smokers.
On Monday, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) started a drive to enforce a smoking ban in public places. People caught smoking in public areas were only given warnings.
â€śThis is just the information campaign period. Next month, we will start imposing penalties,â€ť said MMDA chief Francis Tolentino.
The ban, however, can only be enforced in areas where the local councils have ordinances penalizing smoking in public places. Sixteen of the 17 local councils in Metro Manila have such ordinances.
Public places where smoking is banned include public government buildings, churches, schools, hospitals, public utility vehicles, terminals, jeeps, tricycles, bars and restaurants.
â€śI am in favor of the smoking ban because we have to protect the health of the public,â€ť said Bishop Oliveros in an interview on Church-run Radio Veritas.
â€śI think so. Children inhale secondhand smoke in parks and it is not healthy. People get cancer even if they are not smokers because they get it from the environment,â€ť said Bishop Ongtioco in a separate interview.
The two bishops also suggested additional taxes on â€śsin productsâ€ť like cigarettes and alcoholic beverages to discourage consumption.
â€śThat way, the government will also earn more revenues. We help the individual and the government also benefits. I see the wisdom in prohibiting smoking in public places, which we should have done before. Labels such as "Smoking is dangerous to your health" help. In Malaysia the warning label on the cigarette packet is very graphic and scary. This is required by the law of Malaysia. If Malaysia can do that, why canâ€™t we do that here?â€ť said Bishop Oliveros.