Mandaue City Council: Brgy profiling needs further study

Garry B. Lao (The Freeman) - May 20, 2017 - 4:00pm

CEBU, Philippines - The Mandaue City Council has returned for further study a proposed ordinance of Barangay Maguikay seeking to implement a profiling system for all its residents.

The City Council’s committee on laws and ordinances wants to determine if the proposed barangay ordinance does not violate the constitutional right of a person to privacy.

Maguikay passed an ordinance last month to implement the profiling by requiring every barangay resident to submit personal information. The profiling system aims to monitor the movement of residents and other people going in and out of the barangay as a means of tracking lawless elements and criminals.

Under the ordinance, the residents, including renters and lodgers, have to go to the barangay for photo-capturing and gathering of data.

The ordinance also requires all boarding house and apartment owners to screen their renters. They must ask applicants for documents like barangay clearance from where they came from, police clearance, and NBI clearance.

Councilor Nilo Seno, a lawyer by profession, cautioned the barangay council because the measure may violate the right to privacy of an individual.

"The committee invites attention to the possible violation of right to privacy issues considering that the nature of the ordinance is mandatory and penal and the subject resident is required to have its photograph and details contained in a data base to be maintained by the barangay, as reflected in the minutes of the public hearings," Seno said.

A penalty of P200 will be imposed on owner of boarding house or apartment who fails to provide the barangay with the personal details of their renters.

Seno also expressed reservation on the validity and completeness of the ordinance, saying that the title indicates that every resident is required to submit themselves to the barangay for profiling.

But Seno noticed an inconsistency in Section 4 of the ordinance which states that "it is the responsibility of the homeowners and apartment owners to report to the Barangay Hall every visitor, tenants and renters occupying their house."

The minutes of the public hearing, however, show that it was the intent of the members of the barangay to require the homeowners to report to the barangay hall every visitor, tenant, and renters occupying its premises. Seno said the ordinance also omitted its nature and purpose in order to specify its objectives.

"This committee recommends to return Barangay Maguikay Ordinance No. 2017-01-014 to its proponent for further review and study," the committee report reads. —/FPL (FREEMAN)


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