BAGUIO CITY – A city legislator that apprehended violators of the prevailing extended Luzonwide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) who are enjoying benefits from the concerned government agencies and the local government should no longer be entitled of such benefits as their penalty for committing infractions.
Councilor Betty Lourdes F. Tabanda, chairperson of the City Council’s Committee on Laws, said her fellow city legislators need to find wisdom in the proposal to send a clear message to the violators, especially those enjoying benefits from the concerned government agencies and the city government, that compliance to the guidelines crafted for the ECQ is necessary as it is the safety and health of everyone that is actually at stake.
However, some city legislators opined that the proposal for the forfeiture of benefits of those enjoying benefits from concerned government agencies and the city government who were and will be arrested during the ECQ implementation is allegedly in violation of the human rights of individuals.
Tabanda claimed there are other areas in the country under ECQ who already started implementing the forfeiture of benefits of those individuals enjoying the benefits from the government after being arrested for violating guidelines thus it is important for her colleagues to re-think their positions on the matter so that the city government can compel people to abide by the ECQ rules and regulations.
Under Tabanda’s proposed ordinance, violators of the ECQ guidelines who are arrested for offenses committed will no longer be provided with such benefits that they were privileged to enjoy to serve as a constant reminder to them that it is important to comply with government rules and regulations for them to continue enjoying such benefits.
Among the benefits that violators stand to lose from the government include the financial assistance extended to them under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), the unified conditional cash transfer (UCT), Social Pension Program for senior citizens, cash assistance from the city government, and other benefits that selected individuals are enjoying from the different government agencies.
The lady legislator asserted it is important for her colleagues to look into the benefits that will be contributed once the proposal will be institutionalized as it will serve as a constant reminder for people to adhere to guidelines that will be implemented, especially during hard times such as during the ECQ, as the same will be beneficial to everyone.
Law enforcers expressed disappointment that among those being apprehended for violations of the guidelines of the prevailing ECQ are beneficiaries of different government poverty alleviation programs and projects who are supposed to serve as role models in the compliance to the stringent regulations being enforced for such purposes.
According to her, people should bear in mind that in the implementation of the stringent ECQ guidelines, it is the safety and health of the individuals that are the primordial consideration as the present enemy of the world is invisible and vicious where everyone should be on guard to prevent them from contracting the highly contagious virus.
By Dexter A. See