Davao City ordinances that may be implemented nationwide under a Duterte presidency

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — As a long-time mayor of Davao City, Rodrigo Duterte is known for his strict implementation of city ordinances.

The ordinances are credited for making winning praises for Davao’s cleanliness, orderliness, and low crime rate. With Duterte bound for the presidency, will the same rules be applied to the rest of the country? If he had his way, they will be.

Let’s get to know some Davao City ordinances Duterte might implement nationwide, even if on a limited scale.

Smoking ban: Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance

Public smoking — and tolerating public smoking — is banned in Davao City. Smoking cigarettes, tobacco, shisha (waterpipe), e-cigarettes, or similar devices is prohibited, including in public vehicles.

Davao City's smoking ban has been recognized by the World Health Organization as an effective smoke-free order in an urban setting. WHO noted that Davao's smoking policy "demonstrates that smoke-free laws can work in the Philippines."

Davao's Anti-Smoking Task Force makes sure business establishments follow the prescribed parameters for smoking. Each establishment is allowed only one open-space smoking area measuring not more than five square meters and located 10 meters from doors. A prominent "SMOKING AREA" sign must be displayed, with posters warning of the ill effects of smoking.

“NO SMOKING” signs must be displayed prominently, showing the ordinance number, the maximum P5,000 penalty and phone numbers to call report violators.

Violators face penalties based on the frequency of their offense: P1,000 fine or month-long jail time for the first offense, P2,500 or two-month jail time for the second offense, and P5,000 or four-months in jail for the third offense.

Liquor ban

Selling booze and drinking in public places are banned in Davao City from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. Duterte’s spokesperson says the liquor ban will give hotel and restaurant employees enough time to rest and allow them to go back to work the next day.

Violators face a hefty fine: P3,000 for the first offense, P5,000 or a three-month jail time for the second offense, and P5,000 and one year in jail, including the revocation of the establishment’s business permit, for the third offense.

Curfew for minors

Unescorted minors are not allowed outside their homes from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Duterte says children should have enough energy for school work the next day. Imposing a curfew will also prevent them from joining gangs and indulging in vices.

Minors must be accompanied by a guardian of legal age if they are to go out of the house. The parents of unescorted minors will be arrested by police and charged with abandonment of their children.

Noise ban

In Davao City, you can’t belt out Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” with a videoke inside your home after 9 in the evening to give your neighbors a quiet sleep. The ban on loud merrymaking in residential areas carries a fine of P200 for the first offense, P1,500 for the second offense, and P2,000 for the third offense.

This noise ban is part of the city’s anti-nuisance ordinance, which covers the use of other sound-producing equipment such as megaphones, amplifiers, welding machines, DVD players, and stereos.

Firecracker ban

Firecrackers are totally banned in Davao City, hence its zero-casualty record every New Year since 2001. Davao residents welcome the New Year by blowing party horns or torotot. In fact, the city has a Torotot Festival held every New Year’s Eve at the Freedom Park.

Violators of the firecracker ordinance are fined P1,000 or a month in jail for the first offense, P3,000 or three months in jail for the second offense, and P5,000 or six months in jail for the third offense.


The Philippines has no anti-discrimination law, but there is a pending bill protecting women and ethnic minorities from discrimination. It doesn’t include the LGBT community.

Unlike the rest of the country, Davao City has a more comprehensive anti-discrimination ordinance: Discrimination against women, persons with disability, lumad, and Muslims are considered criminal acts. Not hiring a person because of her gender or religious belief is tantamount to discrimination.

Violators are fined P1,000 for the first offense, P2,000 and jail time of not more than 10 days for the second offense, and P5,000 and 15 days in jail for the subsequent offense.