By Jason B. Neola
NAGA CITY --- The Sangguniang Panlungsod last September 11, 2018 passed an ordinance that provides curfew hours for minors to“regulate their movement during nighttime.”
Approved by Mayor John G. Bongat on September 27, 2018, City Ordinance 2018-073 has set disciplinary hours for children to protect them from neglect, cruelty, exploitation, and other situations prejudicial or detrimental to their growth and development.
As defined, a minor is a person less than 18 years of age while a parent refers to both biological and adoptive mother or father who have actual custody of and are living together with the minor children.
Guardian means a person who, in a court order, is recognized as the guardian of the minor; a public or private agency with whom a minor has been entrusted by a court for custody; a person in charge of the custody or who takes care of a minor, whether relative or not; or a person at least 18 years of age who was authorized by a parent or guardian to accompany a minor in a public place or to have care and custody over a minor individual.
Authored by City Councilor Joselito SA Del Rosario and City Youth Councilor Allysia Mariefranz P. Rodriguez, the Naga City Curfew for Minors Ordinance also penalizes parent/guardian whose child/ward was found to have violated any of the provisions of the ordinance.
Del Rosario said the ordinance serves as another approach by the LGU to further strengthen its advocacy for young individuals, and to spare and safeguard them from any adversity.
For first offense, the minor-violator, upon determination that he/she is not a child in conflict with the law (CICL), shall be brought to nearest barangay hall/tanod outpost. His/her parent/guardian shall be summoned to fetch the minor after a counselling is conducted.
For second offense, the violator will again be brought to the barangay hall/tanod outpost. If the minor shows hostile attitude, verbalizes profane or vulgar words, the child shall be turned over to Naga City Children’s Home or Naga City Women’s Center.
Before the child’s release, the parent/guardian will be required to attend 2 consecutive counselling sessions to be conducted by the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC). In case of non-compliance, a corresponding complaint will be prepared and filed at the Municipal Trial Court.
Parent/guardian of the minor who violated the ordinance for the second time, shall be required to render 36 hours of community service e.g. gardening, rabuz and other forms of community service or payment of P1,000 as fine or both depending upon the court’s discretion.
For third and subsequent offenses, the violator shall be turned over to the barangay hall/tanod outpost except if the child shows hostile behavior, utter profane or vulgar words, he/she shall be turned over to the NCCH or NCWC for appropriate counselling and be subjected to rigorous intervention program.
His parent/guardian shall be penalized with a fine of P3,000 or imprisonment of not less than 10 days but not more than 15 days or both, depending upon the discretion of the court.
Each of the city’s 27 barangays shall maintain a separate logbook for curfew violators, and shall ensure the confidentiality of the information about the involved minors.