Manila to re-implement curfew for minors
Rosette Adel ( - September 2, 2019 - 6:40pm

MANILA, Philippines — The city government of Manila would strictly implement curfew hours for minors starting Monday evening.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso signed the memorandum implementing City Ordinance No. 8547 or the ordinance establishing protection and discipline hours for children and wards in the Philippine capital on Monday.

This was a day after the mayor himself caught around 22 “batang hamog” or street children getting drunk and loitering during the wee hours of the night.

He said these children were already rescued weeks ago but went back to the street.

“We have to put order in the streets of Manila,” Moreno said in an interview.

“Effective today, tonight, agad agad (immediately),” he added.

Under the memorandum, individuals who are below 18 years old are prohibited from loitering, wandering or standing by in public areas within Manila from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

The memorandum cited that “police reports and statistics showed that breach of peace and order of the city at this time are caused by minors roaming around the city.”

In view of this, all village chiefs were ordered to strictly implement City Ordinance No. 8547 in their respective areas of jurisdiction. Members of the Manila Police District were likewise asked to follow the order.

Meanwhile, Moreno directed the Department of Social Welfare of Manila to coordinate with the village chiefs to ensure the effective implementation of the city ordinance.

All of them were asked to submit weekly reports every Monday.

City Ordinance No. 8547, enacted on June 28, 2018 by former Mayor Joseph Estrada, is the lenient version of the previous curfew law, Ordinance No. 8046.

In August 2017, the Supreme Court nullified Manila’s Ordinance No. 8046, which contains provisions to reprimand, fine and imprison minors.

The ordinance was passed in 2002 when Lito Atienza was mayor of the Philippine capital. It was ruled “unconstitutional” because the high court said it runs counter to Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice Law.

Estrada’s administration then drafted a new law focusing on penalty for parents.

“The City Council further noted that the policy of the City of Manila to promote the physical and moral well-being of children is not achieved, if not frustrated by reason or non-cooperation and non-liability of the parents and/or guardian over the minor’s action,” the memorandum read.

Under Ordinance No. 8547, parents of minors aged 15 to 17 years old would be fined P2,000 and may face one-month imprisonment.

Parents of minors aged 13 to 14 years old would have a penalty of P3,000 and three months imprisonment while parents of children aged 12 and below would face six months imprisonment and shall pay P5,000 fine.

Moreno said barangay officials who would not follow the city ordinance might also face administrative complaints.

“It's really hard for me to do these things, we have to care for these children as a government. Not only because we are required by law, but morally as a parent, we have to care for these minors,” the mayor said.

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