EDITORIAL - Yes, why not community service?

EDITORIAL - Yes, why not community service?

(The Freeman) - July 12, 2020 - 12:00am

Cebu City vice Mayor Michael Rama isn’t too on board with the move of Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification, and Enhancement head Raquel Arce to have first-time Enhanced Community Quarantine violators perform community service.

"Anything which is of community service, it should be covered by an ordinance. That's why I have to check whether it's being a part of the ordinance unya it has to be spelled also aron nga with the implementing rules and regulation that we will not be treading a dangerous ground of rights of children and then also the human rights and more other rights that will have to be violated," Rama said in a report in this paper.

But why not community service? It’s practically a win-win for everyone.

Those dancing and exercising punishments just don’t leave much of an impression on the offenders and on the city. Some of the offenders might even enjoy the physical activities they are being forced to do. In fact, dancing and exercising is what people do to keep themselves fit nowadays.

However, having offenders perform a chore like collecting garbage or cleaning certain areas will have a more profound effect on them as well as the city.

On one hand we will have a violator who isn’t likely willing to go through this punishment again. On the other hand we will have a cleaner environment, or at least some parts of it anyway.

Not having to file charges against violators will also save the government a lot of trouble. Filing charges is always a hassle, not to mention the proceedings that follow it. Judges, prosecutors, and the rest of the cast that make up the court already have their hands full with more important cases to attend to.

Lastly, this option will also keep people out of jail. At least the first-time offenders anyway. Our jails are already congested, even more full than our hospitals are. Adding more people to the prison population will add more misery to those already suffering there.

Given how many of us still refuse to quarantine ourselves, and how many of us still don’t have quarantine passes, doing community service instead of facing possible charges and jail time should be an option. Perhaps someone in the City Council can get the ball rolling on such an ordinance.

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