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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Saudi implements airports 'no smoking' policy, migrant group urges PHL post to issue advisory


'No smoking', or 'Smoking is prohibited' signages in Saudi Arabia's domestic and international airports are expected to be seen in the coming days as Saudi's airports authorities started to implement a 'no smoking' policy.


Saudi's General Authority for Civil Aviation head Abdullah Rahimi yesterday is quoted in various local news reports saying that his office started to implement a smoking ban covering the 27 domestic and international airports in the oil-rich Kingdom.


It will cover travelers as well as airports and immigration employees.


The new measure would 'help protect the smoker's health and reduce harm to others', Rahimi quoted in Agence France Press reports.


On the first day of its implementation, reports said there are 16 smokers that have been apprehended at Jeddah International airport. They have been fined of 200 Saudi riyals.


Smoking in airports is not totally prohibited as there are designated smoking areas.


Meanwhile, a Filipino migrant group advocating rights and welfare of migrant workers in the Middle East urges the Philippine posts in Saudi Arabia to issue a corresponding advisory.


“We are urging the concerned Philippine posts officials to issue an advisory so that the Filipino community and the various Filipino organizations will be informed of this latest airport authority's policy of 'no smoking' on prohibited areas,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle regional coordinator.


He added that OFWs should be informed to avoid being caught and fined.


“PHL post advisory is needed to caution OFWs who are frequently seen in various airports upon arrival and those who will be home for vacation especially during November and December,” the Saudi-based OFW leader added.


He pointed out that there about 1.2-M OFWs working in Saudi Arabia.



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