THE chairperson of the committee on women and family relations is pushing for an ordinance barring the travel of unaccompanied minors to and from Cagayan de Oro City without proper documentation and providing penalties for its violation.
According to Cagayan de Oro City Councilor Edna Marban-Dahino, the ordinance, a localization of the national law, will be able to address the growing child trafficking problem in the city as well as to identify the responsibilities of the parents or guardians of the children.
"Of course this is different because very detailed, gi-simplify kung unsa ang responsibilidad sa parents, responsibilidad sa mga guardians, mga relatives nga magbitbit sa mga bata or minors (the responsibilities of the parents, guardians and relatives of the minors are simplified). Because this is already given, balaod ni sa national (a law in the national level), we just localized it to be able to help our enforcers," Dahino said.
Dahino added she was able to observe some parents or relatives selling their children to foreigners for money due to poverty.
"So mao na nga we want na mahimong responsable sila nga mga ginikanan (That's why we want them to be responsible parents), they will be punished kung ilang ipamaligya ang ilang mga anak or ilang i-exploit ang ilang mga anak sa (if they will sell their children or exploit them into doing) forced labor or slavery or something," Dahino said.
During the session on Monday, March 5, the City Council elected to defer the decision for the approval of the ordinance for a week as some city councilors found some concerns in the proposal and its lack of budgetary requirements.
"We will get their (city councilors) insights for us to be able to incorporate in our proposal then I hope next Monday, I think this will be passed," Dahino said.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 08, 2018.