The city Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance amending Ordinance No. 119, series of 2018, which prohibits truancy in the city.
Under the said proposal, the ordinance aims to protect the interest of the elementary and junior high school students; help the said students to be more responsible and productive by attending classes regularly and prevent them from lingering outside school campuses where they are susceptible to street crimes and other forms of danger; assure parents of the said students that their children are safe in school, regularly attending their classes and school activities; control and prevent juvenile delinquency and impose sanctions for truants, commercial establishments, parents, school administrators and teachers who violate the proposed amendatory measure.
The ordinance stated that it shall be unlawful for an elementary and junior high school student to loiter, linger, or stay in a public place or business establishment during school hours, except during lunch breaks.
Further, it shall be unlawful for dropouts and out-of-school youth to loiter, linger or stay in a public place or business establishment within 100 meters radius from any school during school hours considering their influence on in-school students.
It shall also be unlawful for a parent or guardian to knowingly permit, or by insufficient control, allow the student to loiter, linger, or to stay in any business establishment or place within the city during school hours while it shall be unlawful for a teacher and school authorities to knowingly permit or by insufficient control, allow the student to loiter, linger or to stay in any business establishment or place within the city during the same period.
As for operators of businesses, or amusement establishments who knowingly permit or by insufficient control, allow students to loiter, linger or stay in any business establishment or place within the city during school hours, the same shall be governed by Ordinance No. 15, series of 2000, that regulates the operation of amusement centers in the city.
The prohibited activities earlier defined shall not be unlawful when the elementary or junior high school student is on board a motor vehicle on his or her way home; when the said students leave the school for emergency purposes with a written authorization from his or her parents or guardians noted by the school authorities; when the said students are going for a medical appointment with a written authorization from his or teachers or accompanied by his or parents or guardians; when the said students are permitted by the school authorities to leave the campus for some school-related activities and has in his or her passion a valid, school-issued, off-campus permit and when the said students are accompanied by his or her parents or guardians or any school authority.
Students, dropouts or out-of-school youths found violating pertinent provisions of the ordinance shall be brought to their residence or to the barangay council for the protection of children office to be released to the custody of their parents or guardians for the first offense. The students shall undergo counselling sessions to re-orient them on their responsibilities before being properly turned over to their parents or guardians or the concerned authorities.
For the second and succeeding offenses, the concerned individuals shall be subjected to joint appropriate interventions by the City Social Welfare and Development Office.