Cebu News

PB wants Pokemon ban in schools

Kristine B. Quintas - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu Provincial Board wants the popular augmented reality mobile game, Pokemon Go, to be banned in school premises.     

In a resolution approved on Monday, the provincial legislative body passed a resolution asking the Department of Education to issue a memorandum prohibiting the catching of Pokemons within school campuses.

The resolution authored by Board Member Glen Bercede cited “havoc” allegedly created by the game as reason in seeking for its ban.

“Pokemon Go has already created havoc, even in just few weeks of its release, linking to incidents like robbery of gadgets, a man falling to an alley in an effort to capture the character, and a man was even shot and killed while playing the game in the US,” reads Bercede’s resolution.

He said the province could not afford to sacrifice the welfare of students and the safety of the public with this game. Bercede said there were news reports of Pokémon Go players being involved in accidents and robberies. Although some were not true but he said there is no argument that Pokemon Go has been labeled as a dangerous game.

 “The province of Cebu could not afford to wait for incidents of similar nature to be happening to young children, hence there is an urgent need to ban the playing of Pokemon Go within school premises,” Bercede said.

DepEd-7 spokesperson Amaryllis Rodriguez said they have yet to receive a copy of the resolution. She said that banning the famous augmented reality game has not been part of their discussions yet.

 “It (resolution) did not reach our office yet… We haven’t talk about it yet,” Rodriguez said.

Earlier, the Mandaue City Council also passed a resolution warning motorists and pedestrians not to play Pokémon Go while driving and crossing the streets or sidewalks. The traffic group in Cebu City and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-7 also issued the same warning to avoid untoward accidents.

 A judge in Cebu City has also threatened to put behind bar on contempt of court anyone caught catching pokemon inside her courtroom.

Municipal Trial Court in Cities Branch 3 Judge Yvonne Cabaron Artiaga said she does not want court proceedings to be interrupted by people playing the game. A note was posted in her sala warning the public.

"Under pain of contempt, Pokémon catching inside the court is strictly prohibited. Justice may be blind but it can see Pokémon catchers. Violators will face fine and imprisonment," reads the warning.

 Pokemon Go is a location-based augmented reality mobile game that lets players assume the role of a trainer who discovers and catches a “Pokemon” or “pocket monster” as if in real life, using the Global Positioning System or GPS and camera technologies of smartphones. It was initially released in selected countries in July 2016 and just recently in the Philippines. — with May B. Miasco (FREEMAN)

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