Traffic stops for city’s 6 p.m. habit | Inquirer News
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Traffic stops for city’s 6 p.m. habit

/ 07:12 AM August 05, 2017

SANTIAGO CITY, Isabela—The measure may have the best intentions, but is apparently not getting everyone to say “Amen.”

Villagers here are divided on the implementation of a new ordinance that sets a 6 p.m. prayer habit and requires strict observance throughout the city.

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When the clock strikes 6 in the evening, government vehicles are expected to turn on their sirens and roam the streets to remind motorists, pedestrians, students in school and employees at work to stop for a minute of prayer.

The ordinance, which took effect on Aug. 1 after being signed by Mayor Joseph Tan, was authored by Councilor Paul de Jesus and supported by 11 other councilors.

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But it has been drawing mixed reactions from residents. Some welcomed it as a way to rekindle their faith, while others considered it a violation of the principle of the separation of church and state.

Regardless of religion

According to the ordinance, all residents are “enjoined to pause and pray orally or silently” regardless of their religion.

Even people shopping for groceries are required to stop all transactions.

The city ordinance also   orders the city’s public safety office to make sure traffic comes to  a halt at 6 p.m., except for ambulances and fire trucks.

The measure does not have a penalty clause, however, for people who refuse to heed the order for a minute-long pause and prayer.

Proponents of the ordinance said it was a response to a 1992 proclamation that established a national campaign for moral recovery due to the “need to strengthen the moral resources of the people rooted in the Filipino culture.” —VILLAMOR VISAYA JR.

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TAGS: 6 p.m. habit, Amen, Isabela, Joseph Tan, Philippine news updates, Regions, Santiago
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