Dads defer action on proposed ‘Anti-gun Violence and School Safety Ordinance of Cebu City’
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Taking into consideration the admission of the police that they do not have enough personnel to secure all of the activities that will be held in the different schools and universities here, members of the Cebu City Council deem it necessary to also put on hold any further discussions on a draft ordinance that dwells on the subject matter.
Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera said there was a need to amend the title of a draft ordinance called “An Ordinance Requiring All Schools, Universities, and other Institutions of Learning within the City of Cebu to Submit a list of their Calendar of Activities and Events for the Incoming School Year to the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) and the Philippine National Police and for the said Agencies to employ units or personnel for every event at said Schools and Universities based on the submitted list” that was introduced by neophyte legislator Jose Lorenzo Abellanosa.
The draft ordinance was submitted for third and final reading during the Council session on Wednesday, Dec. 14.
During their deliberation, Pesquera proposed to limit the title of the draft ordinance “to requiring schools to submit a calendar of their activities to CCPO” and to no longer require the police to secure all school activities that appear on the lists.
“We have to amend the title of the ordinance because we have already heard from the representatives from the PNP that they cannot deploy personnel during [these] events,” she said.
In a public hearing that was held earlier, CCPO officials, who came, told the Council members that they do not have enough manpower to secure all of the activities that will be held in the different schools and universities here.
But they can use the list of activities that will be provided to them as their basis to assess security risks and determine if there was a need for them to monitor the implementation of a particular activity.
“Supposedly, schools should beef up their security during events. They have to spend money on the events. They have to secure their own people. So, if it is happening within their premises, it is their responsibility, not the PNP,” Pesquera said.
“(In) this particular ordinance, the schools are throwing back the responsibility of taking care of the people, their students, their teachers inside their school [to the police],” she added.
Councilor Philipp Zafra said that instead of asking the police to secure school activities, school officials should instead seek their assistance in coming up with the needed security plan.
During the Council’s regular session on Wednesday, Pesquera said, they have to consider CCPO’s concerns.
Taking into account the comments raised by his colleagues, Abellanosa moved to defer any further discussions on his draft ordinance pending its review.
Abellanosa filed the proposed measure after the June 24 shooting incident that happened at a graduation ceremony at the Ateneo de Manila University Law School that resulted in the death of three individuals, including a former mayor, her aide, and a security guard at the said school.
Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, the Council’s presiding officer, said that Abellanosa will have to refile his proposed ordinance with its amended title after his review.
Upon its resubmission, the measure again be included in the agenda for discussion by members of the Cebu City Council.
READ: Committee recommends amendment in proposed ‘Anti-gun Violence and School Safety Ordinance of Cebu City’
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