Dagupan to enforce curfew for minors

DAGUPAN CITY — At the start of school year, the city of Dagupan is bent on enforcing its long-standing ordinance imposing curfew for minors from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. the following day in compliance with the pronouncement on this matter by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte for a nationwide curfew for minors.

City Ordinance No. 1771-2003 enjoined parents, guardians, overseers of students and minors under their ward to require these minors to stay home from 10:00 o’clock in the evening till 4:00 o’clock in the morning with prescribed penalties for violators.

The ordinance mandates that the city, as a prime educational center of Northern Luzon, seeks to underscore the necessity to support the natural hope, dream and aspirations of every parent to see their children obtain quality education free from any peril, in keeping with the policy of the State to protect the family as a basic social institution.

City Councilor Jose Netu M. Tamayo, author of the ordinance, said that Mayor Belen Fernandez agreed to enforce the ordinance in coordination with the barangay captains.

He said that while other cities in Metro Manila started re-implementing their ordinances on curfew hours after President-elect Duterte expressed his views on imposing curfew hours in the entire country once he takes over the helm as the new President of the Philippines, it is but time that the city re-visits this city ordinance and have it implemented.

Tamayo further stated that Councilor Marcelino Fernandez has already signified his approval in implementing the barangay curfew hours as soon as possible.

Mayor Fernandez believes the implementation of the curfew hours will protect children from the perils of illegal drugs, said Tamayo.

Under the ordinance, the Punong Barangay, Barangay Kagawads and the appointed Barangay Tanods are charged to keep the minors away from the streets during the curfew hours. Minors caught loitering during curfew hours will be accompanied by the tanods to their homes.

But if the minor was caught committing a felony, the tanods will bring the minor to the nearest police station to be held, under the law, for investigation by the Philippine National Police.

Personal data of minors in violation of the ordinance shall be recorded in a Confidential Barangay Record and the circumstances of the person in charge of the minor.

However, the City Mayor may, through administrative issuances, suspend the implementation of the ordinance in any particular barangay, or other combination of barangays, for such number of days, whenever public interest so requires.

The Punong Barangay, may, during barangay fiestas or other public functions within his area of responsibility, issue an executive order suspending the implementation of the ordinance, for a period not exceeding seven days.

The ordinance also requires that a copy of the same be posted in all barangay halls and in three conspicuous places in the barangays.

The City Information Office is tasked in the ordinance to prepare a brief multi-media presentation for showing in the community channels of all cable networks operating in the city and in all cinemas.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office shall be the primary agency in monitoring the implementation of the ordinance with the assistance of the Liga ng mga Barangay.

In line with this, the office of the City Administrator will sound-off the siren one hour before the curfew hour to warn the youth and the parents.

In lieu of criminal prosecution, parents who do not require their minor children to observe the ordinance will either be submitted to administrative fines or community service.

Administrative fines would mean a warning on the first offense. On the second offense, the parent will pay P300.00 and P500.00 on the third offense. The penalties will be paid to the barangay treasurer.

On community service, the parent under the supervision of the Punong Barangay, for such period of eight hours per day, for such number of days will be submitted to the following penalties: warning for first offense, community service for three days on second offense, and community service for five days on third offense.

The parent may escape serving the penalties on the second and third offense if he executes an affidavit that he has required his sibling to observe the curfew hours, in which case, the subject minor shall be required to suffer the penalties under the ordinance.

Lodging houses or dormitories are required to post a notice of this ordinance in their premises in order to be exempt from the penalties and transients or boarders found in violation of the ordinance shall suffer the penalties imposed.

Person in charge of the minor who neglects or fails to comply with the mandate of the ordinance, incorrigibly for the third time, shall be meted with imprisonment for seven (7) days and a fine in the amount of P5,000. PNA/northboundasia.com