‘Selling Fake Cigarettes is Illegal in Bacolod City’ - Distrito
Councilor Caesar Distrito lauded the recent operation of the Bacolod City Police Office and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in confiscating several boxes and sacks of fake cigarettes in a factory located at Purok Riverside, Barangay Bata in which 14 minors were also rescued.
Distrito said that City Ordinance No. 09-16-784, series of 2016 or known as the “Anti-fake cigarette ordinance of Bacolod City” prohibits the sale, possession and distribution of non-compliant cigarette products in the City.
The ordinance defines non-compliant cigarette products or fake cigarettes are those that are sold in the domestic market that have no tax stamps as required by the BIR or that carry counterfeit or fake tax stamps.
It stated further that the sale or distribution of one (1) pack of Non-compliant Cigarette Product constitutes one (1) offense and shall be penalized with a fine of P1,000 for the first offense, P3,000) for the second offense and P,5000 for the third and subsequent offenses while possession of the same is penalized with the fine of P500 for the first offense, P1,000 for the second offense and P2,000 for third and subsequent offenses.
The ordinance also requires that within five (5) working days from the time the fake cigarettes are confiscated, it shall be destroyed in a manner that will ensure that it could no longer be consumed.
It also provides that cigarette vendors are required to prominently display and infographic poster in their establishment that informs the public to purchase only compliant cigarette products and to report or turnover to the Bacolod Anti-Smoking Task Force any non-compliant cigarette product that is offered to them by any person, wholesaler, agent or representative of cigarette manufacturers. *(Benedick J. Ledesma)