Cebu City starts implementing curfew ordinance for minors
Minors are prohibited from loitering or staying outside their houses starting yesterday from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., according to Cebu City Councilor David Tumulak.
The Cebu City government has ordered the “strict” implementation of the curfew ordinance, in coordination with the Philippine National Police in Central Visayas (PNP-7) and barangay officials.
“In this way, we will be able to see if City Ordinance 1786 is properly applied, especially in handling the minors,” Tumulak, who heads the committee on peace and order, said.
Tumulak said they already requested the Department of Education to remind the night high schools to release their students immediately after their classes at 9:30 p.m.
“We will be going inside internet cafes, bars, plazas, sports complex and all public areas. This is our way of enforcing the stricter implementation of the city ordinance,” Tumulak said.
Minor offenders will be taken to the barangay hall. The barangay tanods will then inform the parents or guardians so they can fetch their children.
“The barangay tanods will inform the parents that their children are rescued and are staying in the barangay hall. Then the parents will fetch their children in the barangay hall,” he said.
“This is considered first offense. The parents will be asked to sign a statement stating that their children will not be seen in the streets at the prohibited time again,” he added.
Parents of minors caught for the second time will have to attend parental seminar on how to guide their children.
On the third offense, parents will undergo community service.
Cases for violation of Republic Act 7610 or the “act providing for stronger deterrence and special protection against child abuse, exploitation and discrimination” will be filed against the parents of children who violated the curfew ordinance for the fourth time.
Tumulak said the city government supports the regulation of requiring the minors to remain indoors to reduce crimes and drug addiction.
As the curfew for minors already takes effect, a massive information campaign on the curfew ordinance is also ongoing in Cebu City.
Cebu City Police Director Joel Doria said yesterday the information campaign seeks to ensure that the public will not be caught off guard.
He said everyone affected by the curfew will first be notified of its provisions, exemptions and penalties.
“Once na-disseminate na ng barangay officials, wala ng reason na hindi sila mag-comply (Once disseminated by the barangay officials, there is no reason for them not to comply),” he added. He said ignorance of the curfew ordinance is not a valid reason for offenders not to be punished.
He also gave this directive last Friday in a meeting with the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) board and the heads of the Barangay Public Safety Office.
Last Tuesday, a resolution directing all barangays in the city, in coordination with the PNP and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, to enforce City Ordinance No. 1786 was approved by the city council.
The curfew ordinance prohibits minors below 18 years old from wandering, straying, sauntering, loitering, or rambling outside their residence within Cebu City between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.
Exemptions, however, are given to those coming home late after attending scholastic, educational, and religious activities.
Those tasked to do errands like going to a hospital are also exempted from the ordinance.
First offenders will be escorted by the police or barangay tanods to their homes.
On the second offense, parents or guardians of the minors will be required to attend a half-day parenting seminar, and seven days of community service on the third offense.
On the fourth and subsequent violations, appropriate charges will be filed against the parents or guardians.
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