Oro curfew on minors gaining support

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

AS THE economic boom in the city has been gaining ground where businesses mushroom paving the way to easy access to recreation, residents including minors have been hooked on patronizing them.

Many of the minors today are mostly seen hanging around bars and internet cafes and added to it is the proliferation of street kids around the city.

Roselyn Aurelio (not her real name), a parent of two high school boys supports the implementation of curfew among minors in the city seeing it a remedy for her boys to stay home at night instead of milling around the city.


“I am a busy woman because I am into business,” she said.

“I am a single parent and I raised them by myself through the years. I know they are well-mannered and behaved boys but when the principal called my attention, I really felt embarrassed and confused.”

Prior to the incident, she noticed her children coming home late from Thursdays to Saturdays and missing out a lot in school.

“They would ask permission to use my car because they would attend their weekly ‘group study.’ They would tell me that they have to do collaborations in making lab reports. Only to find out, they came from a party. My car would smell alcohol by morning,” she said.

Aurelio decided to keep her children grounded for months until they learn not to wander again. But it was harder than she thought, she said.

Greta Absin, a high school teacher, thinks that implementing the ordinance will be a great help in keeping track of her son’s whereabouts.

“At least, if the ordinance will be pursued, my son really has no reason to go out at night. Sometimes, he tells me that our internet speed is not enough for his surfing needs prompting him to go out and look for an internet cafe. Ando pa man diay, he was just playing DoTA all the while,” Absin said.

“I thought of the craziest thing a mother could do, I asked him to invite his friends over to play DoTA, just for me to keep track of him. He would still persist. So we argue a lot. I confiscated his PSP, laptop and other gadgets, but still, he would sneak out at night just to play,” she added.

Aurelio and Absin agree that the ordinance should be implemented soon as classes open this June.

The City Peace and Development Security Council (CPDSC) has proposed on enforcing the curfew on minors that will prohibit persons below 15 years old to roam or loiter around the city beyond 10 p.m.

Teddy Sabuga-a, CPDSC executive director, said this would remind the parents of their responsibility and obligations to their children.

The curfew aims at strengthening parental responsibility among parents over their children as their basic legal and revered obligations; enhancing inter-agency collaboration in all social protection undertaking for children; fortifying advocacy in protecting children at risk from becoming in conflict with the law, thus, curtailing the incidence of crimes committed by children in partnership with various stakeholders and developing the value of education among children.

Barangay Captain Jaime Frias of Barangay 26 also favors the implementation of the city ordinance. However, he said there should also be support from all the barangays in the city.

“It has been a three-decade ordinance. They tried to implement that before, unfortunately, not all barangays supported it so it was very difficult if only a few are going to follow it.”

Frias is optimistic it can cut vices like alcohol intake among minors and “I am happy for it.” But he worries on the shifting of classes in the secondary public schools in the city.

“With the time allotted for research work by the students, especially those under the afternoon classes, I doubt it would be pursued,” he said.

Frias also questioned on the manpower available to enforce the curfew.

Gusa barangay captain Marlon Tabac also sees the importance of implementing the curfew on minors.

"I am really in favor of implementing this. Although when I assumed office in December, we had an information dissemination the whole month, and by January we employed this in the barangay level, but other barangays in the city should also start enforcing this," Tabac said.

He said that all barangays should also think for the welfare of the minors on why they should implement it and put aside politics.

"This is for the protection of our children man sad. Barangays should really support this. No matter what party you come from or what political leader you are supporting to, it shouldn't be something to mix with politics eh," he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 25, 2014.

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