Tougher penalties eyed for misusing sealants-A A +A
Saturday, October 13, 2012
CEBU CITY -- Mandaue City officials are looking at imposing heavier penalties on business establishments that sell sealants to minors.
Contrary to earlier news reports, the City has an ordinance that penalizes the use of sealants “for the purpose of inducing intoxication.”
The ordinance was passed by the City Council of Mandaue last November 15, 2011 and approved by Mayor Jonas Cortes last February 14.
Councilor Jimmy Lumapas, who sponsored the ordinance, wants the City to go after businesses that sell sealants such as Vulcaseal to minors.
But for Kathy Tiu, who manages a store that sells sealants, authorities should also go after the parents of children who sniff sealants. Tiu said they strictly comply with the ordinance.
“In fact, we don’t display sealant products in plain view,” she said.
Tiu said it is already beyond them when adults buy sealants from the store and then sell it to children outside.
In an interview, Lumapas said the council may amend the ordinance to impose stricter penalties on “unscrupulous businessmen” who sell sealants to minors.
Any establishment that violates the ordinance must pay a fine of P2,000 for the first offense and P3,000 for the second offense.
For the third offense, the City will close the establishment and make it pay P5,000.
Lumapas said they will study the possibility of making imprisonment a penalty to store owners that sell sealants to minors.
The councilor also underscored the need for a national law that will impose stiffer penalties on the illegal use of sealants.
In a week, Police Officer Earl Famador of the Centro Police Station said, they apprehend 10 to 15 children who sniff Vulcaseal, which is used for sealing, patching and filling leaks, cracks, holes and gaps.
He said the children usually assign a lookout when they sniff Vulcaseal to avoid getting apprehended.
Because they cannot put minors inside jails, the authorities bring the children to the City Social Welfare Services.
Under the ordinance, a minor who is caught sniffing sealants will be placed in an intervention program.
Sometimes, the authorities call the children’s parents to the police station and orient them about the city ordinance.
Famador said that because minors are not allowed to buy sealants, adults buy the product from stores and sell it to children.
“Ila ni ibaligya ug tag singko ang kutsara (They sell it for P5 each scoop),” Famador said.
In a week, Famador said, they apprehend as many as five adults who sell Vulcaseal to children, but these minors are released after 15 days.
Under the ordinance, any adult caught sniffing sealants must pay P500 or face an imprisonment of not more than 30 days at the discretion of the court.
Like Councilor Lumapas, Famador said there is a need to enact a national law that imposes heavier penalties on the illegal sale and use of sealants. (RSB/Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 13, 2012.