Curfew fever reaches CDO, execs reminded of existing laws
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—City officials are digging into the city government’s trove of local laws to start a stricter enforcement of a curfew for minors in the wake of pronouncements made by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte that he would want a nationwide implementation of laws that kept Davao City orderly, including a ban on minors loitering outside their homes past 10 p.m.
This city’s social welfare and development office identified a loophole in the enforcement of a curfew for minors that had been in existence since 1994—failure of enforcement by village officials.
Teodoro Sabuga-a Jr., city social welfare chief, said he appealed to the Department of the Interior and Local Government to compel village chiefs to start the strict enforcement of the curfew.
Sabuga-a said only a few village chairs were actually enforcing a curfew ordinance that was passed in 1994.
He said lack of cooperation by village chiefs was among the major reasons the curfew law had been largely ineffective.
Under the 1994 ordinance, children 15 years old and below are banned from roaming outside their homes, even in parks and recreation halls, from
10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The ordinance also bars minors from entering nightclubs, cocktail lounges, massage clinics, beer houses, discotheque joints or saloons, cabarets or liquor stores or stands, gambling places, plazas, parks, recreation halls, billiard halls, parlors, bowling alleys, theater lobbies, sidewalks, hotels and other similar establishments.
The curfew enforcement, however, is suspended on the eve of fiestas in villages, other city holidays, Christmas and New Year, All Souls’ and All Saints’ Day, Good Friday, Holy Thursday and Easter Sunday.
Minors returning home from school activities, religious or civic gatherings and other social occasions are exempted from the curfew.
Sabuga-a told reporters here on Thursday that his office needed the help of village chiefs in enforcing the curfew. “We could not do it on our own,” he said.
He said his office had started enforcing the curfew on Wednesday and “rescued” more than a dozen children.
Marlo Tabac, chair of the village of Gusa, said the curfew was being enforced strictly in his village.
The curfew law, he said, was “in full effect” in his village starting in January 2014.
“We are seriously enforcing it,” said Tabac. He said he had a bullhorn installed in the village to mark the start of the curfew every 10 p.m.
He said watchmen roamed the village to send home children or bring them to the office of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC).
Tabac said BCPC had two staffers working in shifts to document apprehensions of curfew violators and help rescue children from abuses.
Minors found on the streets in Gusa village were interviewed by BCPC staff and their profiles were taken and submitted to the city social welfare office.
On the second offense, both child and parent would be invited by the city social welfare office, Tabac said.
On the third offense, child and parent would be brought to “Tahanan ng Kabataan,” a city government-run shelter for minors, for counseling sessions that last for two weeks.
Aside from the curfew for minors, Tabac said his village would also start enforcing a midnight curfew for adults to reduce illegal drug activity. Jigger Jerusalem, Inquirer Mindanao
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