Muntinlupa limits kids’ stay in computer shops
It will be “game over” earlier than usual for minors who frequent computer rental shops in Muntinlupa City.
In a move that would please parents and teachers, the city government has approved an ordinance limiting the time students can spend inside these establishments.
Under Ordinance No. 17-044, owners of computer shops are ordered to limit elementary students to an hour and high school students to three hours.
The regulation, however, does not cover college students.
And if the gradeschoolers want to play games, their choices are now also limited. They cannot play violent or war-themed games like Counter-Strike, Defense of the Ancients (Dota) and League of Legends, among others. Gambling is also a big no-no.
The measure also applies to computer shops located in noncommercial establishments or residential spaces.
The ordinance, which was signed by Mayor Jaime Fresnedi on Jan. 13 but was announced by City Hall only on Tuesday, prohibits computer shops from operating for 24 hours straight.
They can only operate from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Customers aged 17 years and below can rent computers only up to 9 p.m., unless accompanied by a guardian.
According to city information officer Tez Navarro, the council passed the ordinance after having consultations with parents and teachers and taking note of local and foreign studies that warn against exposing children frequently to violent computer games.
The measure should help redirect the students’ time and attention to their studies, Navarro added.
Shop operators caught ignoring the ordinance face a P1,500 fine and will have their computer units confiscated. A second offense is penalized with a P3,000 fine as well as confiscation.
Three-time violators will be slapped with a P5,000 fine and will lose their license to operate.
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