Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Cebu City gets ready to name ‘nuisance’ sites

ONCE its creation is approved by Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, the City Dangerous Drugs Administrative Board can start receiving complaints from any government employee or a resident of the city about a “public nuisance”.

The City Council last week approved an ordinance filed by ex-officio member Phillip Zafra creating the City Dangerous Drugs Administrative Board.

Zafra, Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) president, said the measure aims to strengthen the City’s efforts in the anti-illegal drug campaign.

“Aside from providing stricter penalty, let us introduce other ways to combat the illegal drug problem of the country,” he said.

Section 52 of Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, empowers local government units to declare as public nuisance any place or structure that has been used twice as the site of the sale or delivery of dangerous drugs.

According to Zafra, the law provides for the creation through an ordinance of an administrative board tasked to hear complaints regarding public nuisances.

“(And) after hearing the evidences, the board will declare whether or not the subject place or premises is a public nuisance as defined,” he added.

Once the board receives a complaint, it will inform and ask the defendant or the subject of the complaint to submit a reply. A hearing will be conducted by the board with the presence of parties concerned, with their evidence.

After the hearing, Zafra said, the administrative board will decide whether or not to declare the place a public nuisance.

It will be the city mayor that will implement the order issued by the board, which will comprise the ABC president, City Council public order and safety committee chairperson, Cebu City Police Office director, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 7 director, City Health officer, City Legal officer; a representative from the academe; and a representative from the religious sector.

Members of the board will serve for a period coterminous with that of the mayor. Each member will receive an honorarium of P1,000 per meeting, or P4,000 a month. Once a place is declared as a public nuisance, it will be shut down and can no longer be occupied. The alteration or removal of posters put up by the board is punishable and violators will be fined not less than P5,000 or imprisoned for six months to one year.


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