BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance mandating all cinema operators in the city to show the anti-drug advertisements of the national government before the start of each film showing.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Joel Alangsab stated the local government mandates all cinema operators in the city to show any of the 2 anti-drug advertisements available at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency–Cordillera Administrative Region (PDEA-CAR) before the start of each film as part of their service to the public.
Under the proposed legislative measure, violators of the ordinance shall be fined P1,000 for the first offense, P3,000 and automatic suspension of business permit to operate for 1 month for the second offense and P5,000 and cancellation of the business permit to operate of the establishment owner for the third offense.
The ordinance tasked the Permits and Licensing Division of the City Mayor’s Office to implement the pertinent provisions of the local legislative measure.
Section 458(a) of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines grants authority to the Sangguniang Panlungsod to enact ordinances intended to prevent, suppress drug addiction, maintenance of drug dens, drug pushing and such other activities inimical to the welfare and morals of the inhabitants of the city.
On September 2, 2016, the Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) released 2 anti-drug advertisements 2 minutes and 30 seconds long focusing on the consequences of drug addiction, hence, the said advertisements are effective tools for inculcating in the minds of people that illegal drugs would only ruin one’s life.
The ordinance added in its continued quest for a drug-free city, the city government should maximize all available technologies within its jurisdiction to develop awareness among the public, hence, the immediate enactment of the measure.
Based on the data obtained from the PDEA-CAR, there are still 19 barangays in the city that remain drug-affected because of the reported presence of drug users and drug users in their areas of jurisdiction, thus, concerned government agencies and law enforcers need to intensify their anti-drug operations to curb illegal drugs in the different parts of the city that affect the bright future of the youth who had been pinpointed as vulnerable to the proliferation of illegal drugs.
The city remains a transshipment point of illegal drugs, particularly marijuana from the different marijuana-producing communities in Benguet, to the lowlands and shabu from the lowlands to the different parts of the region.
The proposed ordinance was referred to the appropriate committee for study and recommendation before it will be calendared for second and third readings in the future.
By Dexter A. See