The Sangguniang Panlungsod has released the approved SP Ordinance 907-2019 which prohibits minors from loitering, wandering, strolling or remaining in public places within the City of Malaybalay from 10:00 PM until 5:00 AM without legal or justifiable reason.

The ordinance states that violators aged 18 years and below await fines and penalties, including their parents or guardians, if found guilty.

The proponent City Councilor Rendon P. Sangalang, along with the co-authors, SP members Christopher B. Soria and Bonifacio G. Valiente emphasized during the final reading on September 24, 2019 that this measure is a way to curb minors’ possible involvement in committing crimes. 

The legislators also stated the significance of the law in protecting our children from neglect, exploitation, abuse, cruelty and other conditions detrimental to their overall well-being. They stressed it is of utmost importance to regulate teenagers going out in their homes during night time.

Said ordinance further explains that when first offense is committed, the minor is taken to the barangay which has the jurisdiction on proper recording, and counselling of Barangay Council for the Protection of the Children (BCPC) will take place. Also, the parent/s or guardian/s are not spared of the offense as they will render eight-hour community service and pay a fine of PhP 1,000.

For the second offense, violators are required to attend counselling sessions, parenting education seminars and other interventions handled by BCPC. The parent or guardian’s penalty will include rendering of 16 hours community service and a fine of PhP 3,000.00. Imprisonment of three months or a fine of PhP 5,000, or both, depending on the discretion of the court, will be meted on the part of the parent or guardian in the instance of a third violation of the ordinance.

For the minors committing the crime for the third time, they will be handed over to the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) for appropriate intervention pursuant to RA 9344, also known as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006. Per RA 9344 as amended by RA 10630, the law enforcers observe proper procedures of children taken into custody. Further, the law allows registered non-government or religious organization, barangay official or BCPC member and CSWDO process the release of the child in the absence or refusal of parent or guardian or nearest relative for safekeeping.

With reports: Alfe Joy Secretaria, Mary Lou Billones-Gaid, SPO-NADA