Educators only have good words for Baguio’s anti-cursing law

BAGUIO CITY — The Baguio City government has begun to implement its anti-profanity ordinance, which prohibits cursing and any foul language in places frequented by minors in the city, and the Department of Education (DepEd) in Cordillera is more than happy.

“The ordinance will surely strengthen what is already integrated into the K-12 curriculum. It is high time we remove the habits of cursing from the learners,” Georaloy Palao-ay, public affairs officer of DepEd-Cordillera, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday, saying only good words about the new city regulation.

Palao-ay said the new ordinance will make a mark by making the City of Pines children-friendly.

The local DepEd official lamented that although cursing is still a no-no in schools, Filipino children today seem to have failed to imbibe the good value, especially in their homes, where learning is supposed to start.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan considers the ordinance a necessity, especially in the city government’s efforts to project an image of a city with good character.

He said prohibiting cursing or foul language in the city is aimed at bringing back good values among the residents, especially the youth.

The city government has passed an anti-profanity ordinance, which prohibits cussing in all places in the city frequented by young people, as a measure to restore values among the residents, especially the youth.

“As you know, we are a ‘character city.’ This is also for the protection of our children’s rights. Nowadays, it seems like cursing and using obscene language is normal,” the mayor said.

Domogan stressed that the city government wants this changed, especially as the city seeks to maintain a pleasant image and international recognition for its creative people.

Ordinance No. 118, also known as the “Anti-Profanity Ordinance of Baguio City”, was signed by the mayor last September 24.

Councilor Lilia Fariñas, head of the city council’s committee on social services, women, and urban poor, authored the ordinance.

“Nowadays, cursing has become a normal practice that even the children seem to have already adopted the bad habit, oblivious to what it might lead to,” she said.

The ordinance mentioned that the habit of cursing has not only been confined in certain places “but has already penetrated the schools, business establishments, and the society as a whole, which needs to be prevented to avoid the further deterioration of morals and decency.”

“The legislation will help in the preservation of morals of the Filipino youth, not only during the observance of the National Children’s Month, but as an everyday advocacy to preserve the integrity of a decent and ethically upright people,” it further said.

In 2013, the city government passed the “Character City Ordinance”, with the primary aim of “instilling positive values in all aspects of human endeavor in the barangays, government, and non-government organizations, most especially schools, in order to inculcate good moral values to students.”

The anti-profanity ordinance is specifically implemented in all schools, computer shops, and other business establishments frequented by children, high school, and college students in the city.

Domogan said the passage of the ordinance is a very welcome development to boost the city’s character program, which aims to make the residents realize the importance of preserving the Filipino values of courtesy, obedience to laws and rules, care for others, and other positive values that a child must grow up with and carry up to adulthood.

“Our advocacy is to preserve the integrity of a decent and ethically upright people,” Domogan added.

He said although the ordinance does not slap offenders with criminal liability, administrative sanctions will be executed inside the school.

When committed in schools, on the first offense, the teacher should call out the student’s attention and make him realize that such is not a good practice.

For the second offense, the parents or the guardian are required to appear until such time that the habitual practice is corrected or at least minimized through reprimands or suspensions.

The penalty of expulsion for violation of the ordinance will be the school’s prerogative.

Specifically, the ordinance “prohibits cursing, cussing, expressing insults, whether directly or indirectly to anyone, using profane or foul language as a means of expression, or as a manifestation of anger, surprise, disgust, or any other form of extreme emotion that yields to such of profanity.”

This will be strictly implemented in all schools at all levels and in business establishments frequently visited by the students.

Domogan added that parents play a very important role in the upbringing of the children, so do the school, the community, and the nation. Pamela Mariz Geminiano/