BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance mandating all individuals or entities operating or intending to operate any center for children in the city to first seek a favourable endorsement from the local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC) before their actual operation and providing penalties for violators.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Joel Alangsab stated that it is a policy of the local government to reinforce the rights of the child, thus, affording every child full protection under the law.
Under the proposed ordinance, it shall be unlawful for any children’s center operating as such in the city without first obtaining a favourable endorsement from the local Council for the Protection of Children.
For a children’s center to be entitled to operate as such in the city, the ordinance stated a favourable endorsement from the LCPC is still necessary before its actual operations, provided that, children’s centers already operating at the time of the approval of the ordinance shall be allowed to continue operating but shall comply with the requirements within a period of one month from such date of effectivity.
The ordinance stipulated any children’s center operating without the necessary requirements shall be fined P1,000 and suspension of business license or permit for a period of 15 days in case of a business entity or establishment if applicable; P3,000 fine and imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 months or both at the discretion of the court and suspension of business license or permit for a period of 30 days in case of a business entity or establishment if applicable, and a fine of P5,0000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 6 months, or both at the discretion of the court and revocation of business license or permit in case of a business entity or establishment if applicable for third offense.
The LCPC, in close coordination with the Permits and Licensing Division, and the City Social Welfare and Development Office, shall enforce and monitor the implementation of the local legislative measure.
After the approval of the ordinance, the LCPC shall craft the necessary implementing rules and regulations to effectively and efficiently the ordinance.
In the society, the State shows concern for the welfare of the children in its domain in many vital ways. Some institutions pretending to protect the children use the latter as pawns to be manipulated to their best advantage, hence, the children are the ones who suffer most because they are the most vulnerable and who have the fewest resources and defences.
The ordinance stated children’s whole lives may be ruined by something for which they are not responsible and over which they have no control.
The local government has previously committed to pursue massive efforts in support of the child-friendly movement at all levels, local communities and families, thus, it reorganized its LCPC by virtue of Administrative Order No. 036, series of 2016.
By Dexter A. See