CEBU CITY COUNCIL

Measure requiring schools to submit calendar of activities to cops nixed

By: Wenilyn B. Sabalo - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | March 10,2023 - 12:28 PM
Cebu City Councilor Jose Lorenzo Abellanosa delivers a privilege speech during the city council's regular session on Wednesday, December 7, 2022.| Screenshot from Sangguniang Panlungsod FB Live via Wenilyn Sabalo

Cebu City Councilor Jose Lorenzo Abellanosa delivers a privilege speech during the city council’s regular session on Wednesday, December 7, 2022.| Screenshot from Sangguniang Panlungsod FB Live via Wenilyn Sabalo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The proposed “Anti-Violence and School Safety Ordinance of Cebu City” of Councilor Jose Lorenzo Abellanosa failed to secure the approval of the city council during its third and final reading last Wednesday, March 8, 2023.

With seven objections, two abstentions, and only five councilors voting in favor, even the amended version of the proposed ordinance, which would require all schools, universities, and other institutions of learning in Cebu City to submit a list of their calendar of activities and events for the incoming school year to the Cebu City Police Office, failed to get the nod of the council.

Councilor Philip Zafra, who heads the council’s Committee on Public Order, said the proposed measure is not necessary when the city can just “always make representation and write a letter” to achieve the same purpose of the ordinance.

Councilor Abellanosa drafted this proposed measure after a shooting incident during the graduation rights of the Ateneo de Manila University Law School last July 24, 2022, which resulted in the death of three individuals, including a former mayor, her aide, and the school security guard.

READ: Dads defer action on proposed ‘Anti-gun Violence and School Safety Ordinance of Cebu City’

The councilor maintained that there was a need to afford “greater protection” to schools, teachers, students, and their parents and families from the threat of gun violence.

Zafra, however, said that the goal of the proposed measure was already part of the existing task of the law enforcement agencies “to assist any association or institution that initiates different kinds of activities.”

“I am also concerned about the penalties herein being imposed for the reason enumerated under the section for the violations which they may incur once this ordinance will be passed,” he added.

Before moving for and voting for its approval on Wednesday, Abellanosa told the council that this latest version of his proposed ordinance already included the comments and suggestions raised by the members of the city council and the speakers during the public hearings conducted.

If the proposed measure was approved, Cebu City schools will be mandated to submit a list of school events included in the Calendar of Activities already submitted, the designated time as well as the expected number of attendees to the CCPO at least one (1) week before the said event.

It shall also be the duty and responsibility of the school to follow up with the CCPO within the week to ensure that the duties of the CCPO under Section 7 of the ordinance will be followed.

It is also the responsibility of the host school to prepare an emergency or crisis preparedness and evacuation.

Failure to do so, may constitute a fine of P3,000 or imprisonment of not more than six months for first offense and a fine of P5,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year for subsequent offense.

However, the proposed measure also faced objections from some schools in the city.

In a public hearing last Jan. 18, Noe Santillan, VP for Faculty of the All UP Academic Employees Union, said that they would “strongly reject” the proposed measure as they believed that such a proposal would be an attempt to curtail academic freedom of schools and that academic calendars were already freely available online in some institutions for public consumption.

READ MORE

Proposed Cebu City measure requiring schools to submit calendar of activities to cops opposed

Committee recommends amendment in proposed ‘Anti-gun Violence and School Safety Ordinance of Cebu City’

Dads defer action on proposed ‘Anti-gun Violence and School Safety Ordinance of Cebu City’

Ex-Lamitan mayor, aide, guard killed in Ateneo shooting

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