Committee recommends amendment in proposed ‘Anti-gun Violence and School Safety Ordinance of Cebu City’
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Council’s Committee on Laws, Ordinances, and Styling, recommended that the proposed “Anti-gun Violence and School Safety Ordinance of Cebu City” should include a penalty for schools and other educational institutions who will fail to meet its requirements.
The committee, tasked with reviewing the proposed ordinance of Councilor Jose Lorenzo Abellanosa, stated in a report that it believed penalties and sanctions were necessary for the proposed ordinance to be effective. These were lacking in the current draft of the ordinance referred to the committee.
Under Abellanosa’s proposed ordinance, all schools, universities, and other institutions of learning within the City of Cebu are required to submit a list of their calendar of activities and events for the coming school year to the Cebu City Police Office and the Philippine National Police.
The proposed ordinance then requires the said agencies to employ units or personnel for every event at said schools and universities, based on the list of events the schools submitted.
The committee supports the proposed ordinance, but believes that sanctions must be provided to ensure compliance if the proposed ordinance is passed and put into effect.
The “Anti-gun Violence and School Safety Ordinance of Cebu City” aims to heighten security measures in both public and private schools in the city to ensure that schools, teachers, students, and their parents are safe from the threats of gun violence during school events.
“For the penalty, who to sanction, the administrator. Second, the imposition of the revocation of business permits for private schools will be one of the penal clauses, administrative at that, relative to this ordinance,” committee chairman Councilor Rey Gealon said during the session last September 7, 2022.
The committee also recommended that the ordinance should include a provision that would direct educational institutions to implement “emergency crisis” preparedness plan so teachers and students will know what to do in times of emergencies.
Abellanosa said he will take note of these comments and recommendations and will refer back to the committee once the comments are added.
Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, who presided the session, said Abellanosa can present the amendments during the proposed ordinance’s second reading.
To support his ordinance, Abellanosa made mention of the shooting incident during the graduation rights of the Ateneo de Manila University Law School last July 24, 2022, which resulted to the death of three individuals, including a former mayor, her aide, and the security guard of the said school.
The suspect, identified by police as Dr. Chao Tiao Yumol, casually entered the school using a transport network vehicle service, already armed with a gun and auspiciously blending in with the crowd.
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