Apparently, people in Albay don't like smoking.
This, as nearly 13,900 people wearing red, white and black shirts assembled at the Bicol University football grounds June 28 form the biggest human no-smoking sign, in hopes of bagging a Guinness record.
Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said the Guinness attempt was meant to highlight a landmark ordinance launched in November last year which prohibits smoking in all public places in the province.
The event also hopes to “to instill awareness on the ill-effects of smoking and its hazards to the environment,” Salceda has been quoted by state-run news agencies as saying.
Data from the Health department show that last year, 10 Filipinos died of tobacco-related diseases every hour. This translates to about 240 deaths a day.
During the event, which coincided with the Palace-declared No Smoking Month of June, Salceda signed the implementing rules of the Albay Smoke-Free Ordinance.
The policy will take effect even in Albay towns which have yet to pass anti-smoking ordinances. Only five of the province’s 18 local governments have no-smoking policies.
The human no-smoking sign now awaits confirmation by the Guinness World Records, but Salceda said he is confident that it will be validated as the biggest so far.