Baguio City sets new curfew hours for minors

BAGUIO CITY -– Minors below 16 years old are no longer allowed to go out to public places in Baguio City without the company of their parents or legal guardians between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m.

This was after the city council passed on third and final reading Ordinance 23-2018, which amended the 2009 ordinance that set the curfew for minors from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. The 2009 ordinance amended a 1957 ordinance on the curfew for minors.

The new amendatory ordinance authored by Councilor Elaine Sembrano includes loitering in Internet shops or cafes and in amusement or gaming facilities.

Establishments found violating the ordinance will be penalized with a fine ranging from PHP3,000 to PHP5,0000 and face cancellation of their business permits.

In a telephone interview on Thursday evening, Sembrano explained to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the amendment aims to update the outdated ordinance, specifically, to cope with lifestyle changes and to curb juvenile delinquency, teenage gang incidents, and other infractions of the law committed at night.

She said the curfew adjustment to 9 p.m. from 7 p.m. was necessary to address the situation of many students, who have classes until 8 p.m. and are dismissed close to the curfew hour.There are also those who need to research lessons online but who have no Internet connections at home and therefore need to avail of the services of Internet shops, she noted.

The approved ordinance further states that adults who would let their children or wards violate the curfew time would be subject to penalties, as well.

“An adult purporting to be their guardian, parent, or authorized custodian within the third degree of relationship, either by consanguinity or affinity, shall be penalized under other applicable laws and ordinances,” the ordinance states.