Oro beefs up anti-cyberporn campaign

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014


THE City Government of Cagayan de Oro has intensified its information campaign anew before it could sanction violators of laws on anti-cyberporn and regulation of internet usage to students.

Maricel Rivera, city information officer, said Wednesday the group headed by the Regulatory and Complaint Board (RCB) has made another round Wednesday reminding owners and operators of internet cafés to be mindful of the laws else face legal action or closure.

Rivera said the task force is also responding to the concern made by Fr. Eric Velandria of Xavier University who, in his letter to the Local School Board (LSB), reported that the proliferation of internet cafés in the city has affected the performance of students.

In most cases, students often skip classes to spend time in internet shops playing games or accessing social media sites.

Rivera said this has lowered the performance of the children who would rather spend their time in front of a computer than in the classroom.

“What happened to learning the alphabets? Because of these internet cafés, these kids are in danger of being deprived of learning the basics of education,” she said.

Because of this, Rivera said, they are appealing to the schools and parents to monitor the children, especially during school hours.

The RCB has cited Republic Act 9775 or Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 and City Ordinance 10536-2007 as basis for going after violators.

Rivera said it is deplorable that of the more than a dozen of internet shops that the RCB inspected Wednesday, only one establishment has installed software that could block users from accessing pornographic websites.

Also in Barangay Carmen, the body noted that an internet café has closed cubicles.

Rivera said they also heard reports that students who are late in coming to school are spending time at these shops than in their classrooms because they are barred from entering the campus.

“If they are not allowed to enter the classroom, it would be very convenient for them to go to an internet café and spend the rest of the day there, without the knowledge of their parents or teachers,” she added.

Another problem city hall has identified is the lack of classrooms which resulted to “rotation” of classes in public schools.

In some schools, elementary and high school classes share classrooms thus limiting the students’ time in the classroom.

She said students who are not in their classroom during school hours are prone to spending their time at an internet café than going home.

Rivera said this could be remedied by building more classrooms to eliminate the problem of rotation.

She said Mayor Oscar Moreno is targeting to build 100 classrooms for this year.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 27, 2014.

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