Council Regulates Children’s Participation during Parades-A A +A
The Council Reports
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
THE City Council Monday finally approved on third and final reading the proposed legislative measure authored by Honorable city councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda regulating the participation of children during parades in the City of Baguio.
The proposed amended Ordinance numbered 0097 series of 2012 originally calendared as item 52 in the regular agenda of the city council was included in the matters proposed to be taken up ahead of the other items in the agenda and the subject of a final deliberation by the august body earning its approval.
Councilor Tabanda in explaining the need to regulate the participation of children during parades pointed out the observation that “little children who walk the long stretch during a parade are exposed to the elements that endanger their health and well-being”. She explained further that the young and tender although developing bodies of children cannot endure much more tolerate the rigors and physical strain of walking long distances while exposed to the elements as compared to their adult counterparts. She also cited in her proposal that “while physical advancements start to manifest in young children especially those in pre-school, they are highly mobile and may get into trouble when unattended. Although the stage of development in each child varies, this period is crucial. Any risk or injury would have a life-long effect on the mental, physical and social behavior of the child in the future. Therefore, all precaution should be observed and adequate mechanisms be laid to protect our children”.
Section 1 of the approved ordinance states that “pursuant to the declared policy of the City of Baguio that children are to be protected and shielded from any form of harm, it shall enunciate, as a matter of policy, its abiding concern for the proper care of its young”. For the purposes of the said ordinance ‘children’ is defined as those below 7 years of age.
The guidelines as established by the ordinance mandate all concerned offices to observe the following: a. Children should only participate in parades when their attendance is necessary; b. Children should always be accompanied by adults, from assembly time up to the finish. If accompanied by neither parent nor guardian, a written consent from the parent or guardian must be secured and present. No adult shall be allowed to accompany more than two (2) children at any given time; c. Assembly time for children should not be earlier than 6:30 in the morning and children should not be allowed to participate in a parade that extends beyond 6:30 in the evening; d. Children should not be made to carry heavy loads or instruments; e. Attire should be appropriate to age and weather conditions; f. Proper security and medical personnel should be stationed, to respond to emergency calls; g. Should there be adults in the parade. Children should be positioned in front so they would finish first; h. As much as practicable, the distance to be covered by children must be shorter than the rest of the participants; i. in case of inclement weather children, even if accompanied an adult, should not participate.
The approved ordinance further provides that “as a matter of policy the city government shall ensure that appropriate devices are installed such as markers, barriers, cordons and the like”. In the event of violations of the pertinent provisions of the said ordinance the organizer/sponsor of the parade shall be penalized with a fine of Five Thousand Pesos (P 5,000.00) and perpetually disqualified to organize or sponsor any event in the city. For those officials and employees of the government who are found to have aided, tolerated or allowed the violation of the above ordinance they shall be meted and subjected to administrative sanction.
It will be recalled that following the regular legislative process of enacting ordinances the proposed legislative measure was initially approved on first reading in October of 2012, thereafter it was approved on second reading for publication and posting on August of 2013. Subsequently it was approved by the august body on second reading after publication on June 30 2014 until finally last Monday it was approved on third and final reading.
After its approval the said ordinance will be transmitted to the executive branch of the city government for the signature of the city mayor and then it will be published again as required by law for the notification and consumption of the public prior to its full implementation.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 09, 2014.