Cebu mayor ‘will veto’ anti-corporal ordinance-A A +A
Thursday, July 5, 2012
CEBU CITY – Mayor Michael Rama announced on Wednesday he will veto the ordinance banning corporal punishment in Cebu City.
The mayor’s announcement drew criticism from proponents and supporters of the ordinance.
Some, like the Cebu City Advocates for Positive and Non-Violent Approach, representing 36 non-government organizations, asked Rama not to make the ordinance a political issue.
“Why talk about a veto when this is in accordance with human rights standards? Sometimes it is affected by politics,” said Commission on Human Rights (CHR)-Central Visayas Director Alejandro Alonso.
The advocates also asked Councilor Edgardo Labella to follow through with his earlier commitment to support the ordinance.
“I hope he's still on our side and will help convince the mayor to support the ordinance,” an advocate said of Labella.
The advocates have a meeting with Rama on Monday about the matter.
Proponents of the ordinance called for a press conference on Wednesday along with advocates and government agencies supporting the measure — CHR, the Department of Education (DepEd) Cebu City Schools Division, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
The proponents of the ordinance are Cebu City Councilor Lea Ouano-Japson, Margarita Osmeña, Alvin Dizon, and John Philip Po II, who represents the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation (Youth Council) of Cebu City.
DepEd's Erlinda Melgo said all guidance counselors of Cebu City schools have been directed to disseminate the provisions of the ordinance.
But Rama said he prefers a veto so the measure will be thoroughly discussed.
He blamed Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young for not doing his part as presiding officer, resulting in the Council’s failure to thoroughly study the ordinance.
However, Rama admitted he has not read the entire ordinance, but that he has read enough in the newspapers.
“It's not addressing a real problem,” said Rama of the ordinance.
When asked if the Council would override the veto, Japson said the Council would prefer to read the veto message of the mayor first.
Osmeña though said it is unlikely that people who voted for the bill would change their votes, unless there is convincing argument.
Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan leaders Representative Tomas Osmeña and Vice Mayor Young prefer to let the ordinance die after the veto and just revive it after the 2013 elections, so it will not be politicized.
But proponents believe there is a sense of urgency in implementing the ordinance.
Proponents Japson and Osmeña explained that spanking is not the only way to discipline children.
“Times are changing and people, especially children, are becoming aware of their rights and are beginning to speak out,” Councilor Osmeña said.
Japson also clarified that there is assessment and intervention so that parents apprehended for the first time will not be sent to jail right away but will undergo counseling through the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children and the Department of Social Welfare Services.
The goal is to eventually erase corporal punishment in the culture of discipline among Cebuanos.
Japson took issue that the measure being referred to as the “anti-corporal punishment ordinance.”
She clarified that the measure is actually titled “An Ordinance Promoting Positive and Non-Violent Discipline of Children.”
She said the title is important to the public because calling it the anti-corporal punishment ordinance creates a negative connotation. (JGA of Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 05, 2012.