The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on third and final reading a proposed ordinance institutionalizing Proclamation No. 417, series of 2018, on the annual observance of the Safer Internet Day for Children and appropriating funds for the said purpose.
City legislators declared that with the underlying principle of the parents patraie that the local government has a legal obligation to act as a secondary mechanism and support in nurturing and protecting the rights and welfare of the children, thus, the observance of the Safer Internet Day for Children in the city shall be conducted every second Tuesday of February and every year thereafter.
For the attainment of the objectives of the measure, the indispensable activities that are incidental and directly connected with the use of internet and other social media outlets, but shall not be exclusive to the consultations with the children and youth leaders, representatives and organizations, on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Declaration on the Protection of Children and online abuses and exploitation; announcement of Safer Internet Day for Children through intensive information education campaign in schools and the barangays and orientation on preventing child pornography.
The ordinance stipulated that the city government shall have the authority to make additional activities solely and directly related to promote a safer internet environment for the children.
Further, the city shall also coordinate with other government agencies and civic groups to help in the awareness campaign which shall not be limited to the Department of Education–Division of City Schools, the Department of Information Technology and to the Inter-Agency Council Against Child Pornography.
The council claimed that there shall be an appropriated amount of P100,000 to be sourced from the City Youth Development Office under the City Social Welfare and Development Office for the conduct and observance of the Safer Internet Day for Children in the city.
The council tasked the City Youth Development Office, through the City Social Welfare and Development Office, to ensure the effective and efficient implementation of the measure for the benefit of the youth in the city.
According to the ordinance, with the Children’s Welfare and Protection Code of the city as amended, the measure is geared towards strengthening the programs of the city to ensure a safer physical and digital environment for the children where the city shall raise precaution and awareness to the public, most especially to the children on the allowed and acceptable use of the internet putting into consideration their rights and welfare.
Earlier, the Department of the Interior and Local Government issued Memorandum Circular No. 2020-013 on the 2020 observance of the Safer Internet Day for Children enjoining all government units to support and institutionalize in each locality, measures to promote better and safer internet use for everyone and to raise awareness on online issues faced by children.
By Dexter A. See