Groundwork starts in Albay’s attempt world record ‘largest human no-smoking sign’

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By Joseph John J. Perez

LEGAZPI CITY, 17June2013 – It’s all systems go for one historic challenge with the official confirmation from the Guinness World Records (GWR) of its acceptance of Albay’s attempt for the “largest human no-smoking sign.”

During the meeting of the general technical working committee held last week, the Smoke-Free Albay Network (SFAN) disclosed that ground preparations are now placed at the Bicol University as the official venue for the formation of human no-smoking sign that will highlight the observance of the International No-Smoking Month this June.

“Some 5,123 square meters will be covered of the university’s football field for the attempt,” Architect Adrian Graceda of the BU Physical Development Management Office (PDMO) said.

A group of architects surveyors and engineers are now collaborating to plan the layout of the area in consideration of the requirements of the Guinness World Records (GWR), SFAN chairman and provincial board member Herbert Borja said.

“Producing the outline on the ground is in itself difficult and challenging considering GWR’s specifications and the huge size of the area,” Dr. Joseph Espiritu, chief of the Emergency and Medical Services of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said.

The GWR specifies in their guidelines that only a white chalk outline of the no-smoking symbol can be marked out on the ground prior to the attempt and it is not allowed to use colored dyes to shade the areas, Borja said.

Further, only letters or numbers can be used to define areas where the participants will stand, GWR said.

“We may use sticks or flaglets for this purpose,” Espiritu said.

Early this week some personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Air Force (PAF) and BFP conducted ground inspection to layout strategies for crowd management and control, safety and security requirements, entrances and exits, and rehearsal for locations, formations and ground layout, Espiritu said.

As of this writing, almost 10,000 persons already confirmed their participation for the event which aims to gather 13,000 participants from government institutions, schools and the private sector, SFAN told PIA.

“We welcome walk-ins during the event,” Borja said.

The activity will happen starting at 6AM on June 28 with a fun-walk dubbed as “Walk for a Smoke-Free Albay” that will jumpstart the event at 5AM commencing at the Peñaranda Park, Borja said.

“(This is) to give relevance and meaning to the implementation of the Albay Smoke-free Ordinance and to educate or to instill awareness on the ill-effects of smoking and its hazards to the environment,” Albay Governor Jose “Joey” Salceda said.

Borja said that they welcome interested participants for the event. They can contact him at his office at telephone number (052)822-3175, or 0922-8398437 or at his email address hsborja8@yahoo.com. They can also coordinate through Governor Salceda’s office at telefax number (052) 481-2555 or 0908-8660824 or email address albaygovoffice@yahoo.com. Another option is through Add+vantage Community Team Services, Incorporated with telephone numbers (052)435-3003 or 0929-377-2442 or email them at smokefree.magayon@gmail.com or like them at www.facebook.com/SmokeFreeAlbay. (PIA5-Albay)

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