Barangay officials urged to intensify implementation of curfew for minors

To curb the acts of delinquency, teenage gang incidents and other violations of the law committed during night time in the city, the Baguio City Police Office encouraged and urged barangay officials to strictly implement the curfew hours for minors ordinance.

This is to address the continuing and growing problem of the city so as to eliminate if not to minimize incidents involving juvenile delinquents of which the victims are also the minors.

Under the city ordinance, “minors below 16 years old shall not be allowed to roam or play in the streets, roads, plazas, parks or other public places or establishments in the City of Baguio between the hours of 7 p.m. and 5 a.m.”

The Ordinance provides that “violators will be penalized as follows: 1st offense --- the child shall be referred to the guidance counselor of the Council for the Protection of Youth and Children; 2nd offense --- the child shall undergo counseling by the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO); 3rd offense --- the child shall be put by the CSWDO under and intervention program which may include community service; the CSWDO shall ensure that the community service is appropriate to the child and is consistent with the goals of the intervention program”.

It further provides that “adults who are guardian, parent, or authorized custodian of the offending child within the third degree of relationship, either by consanguinity or affinity, shall be penalized under other applicable laws and ordinances."

The following exemptions to the Ordinance apply:

*If the children are in the company of their parents, guardians, or an adult authorized to give them custody or protection; provided that said adult can show proof of relationship vis-à-vis the children.
*The children has attended a party, game, or other school affair, church function or any other authorized affair which may last beyond h curfew time; provided that the police was notified of such affair at least 24 hours before it is held.

*College and/or high school students under the age of 16 shall be exempted from the coverage of the Ordinance; provided that they can show valid certification from their respective Deans and Principals that their class schedules do not permit them to go home before the curfew period established.

*Church members below 16 years of age who are involved in church or other religious activities shall be exempted from the coverage; provided that they can show valid certification from the head or leader of the religious organizations or denominations stating that the said scheduled activities do not permit them to go home before the curfew period established.

*Activities sanctioned by school administration that are scheduled within the curfew period involving among others , children below 16 years of age shall need prior exemption from the Office of the City Mayor through a letter signed by the person in-charge of said activity and noted by the Deans or Principals of the concerned educational institution.

Parents and guardians are also encouraged to monitor and keep an eye to their children and at the same time impose them to be home before the curfew hour, stressed BCPO director Ramil Saculles. *Jho Arranz