BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance granting rights and privileges to students at all levels in both private and public schools in the city.
The ordinance authored by Councilors Benny Bomogao, Faustino Olowan, Michael Lawana, Maria Mylene Victoria G. Yaranon and Peter Fianza stated any student who is currently enrolled and holder of a duly issued school identification card by his or her school shall be entitled to a grant of 20 percent discount on fare in all public utility vehicles on school days, including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, semestral break and vacation; a grant of 20 percent discount on medical and dental services;, including diagnostic and laboratory fees such as, but not limited to x-ray, computerized tomography scan, drug test and blood test in hospitals, health centers and other city managed or funded health facilities; to be exempt from the payment of community tax certificate; a grant of 50 percent discount in police clearance; to be allowed to execute a promissory note for the payment of school tuition fee; shall not be denied to take periodic examination, receive academic and non-academic awards in commencement exercises or recognition programs and to participate in other school activities by reason of non-payment of tuition fees or school fees, however, the school may retain school credentials or certifications and may be released and given only upon payment of unpaid fees; shall not be denied by the school from continuing her studies by reason of pregnancy, provided that, the school shall also grant a student who gave birth to take her exams and be made to take remedial measures for missed quizzes or activities and she shall be entitled to a maximum of 15 days rest before resuming classes.
The ordinance stated it shall not be construed to diminish privileges already granted to students by existing local legislative measures or laws.
Whenever it is necessary, the ordinance provided that a student shall present his or her identification card every time a student wants to avail the benefits granted by the measure or when required.
Violators of the provisions of the ordinance shall be fined P1,000 for the first offense, P2,000 for the second offense and P3,000 or revocation of the license or permit to operate the business or establishment for the third offense. In case of partnership or juridical persons, the penalty shall be imposed on the president, treasurer, secretary or any other persons responsible for the noted violation.
Further, the ordinance added administrative penalties applicable under civil service rules shall be imposed upon government personnel found violating pertinent provisions of the ordinance in addition to the penalties imposed by the measure.
Section 1, Article 14 of the Constitution stated the State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all. The key to a prosperous nation is a fair and equitable foundation.
By Dexter A. See