INDIVIDUALS who commit vandalism and other acts of malicious mischief that are detrimental to the implementation of the “clean and green” project of Lapu-Lapu City have to pay up to P5,000 as penalties and may face imprisonment.

The amendment proposed by Councilor Linda Susan Baring to impose higher fines for violators committing such crime has already been approved by the City Council during their regular session on November 16, 2022.

Under Ordinance No. 16-055-2022, violators will pay a fine of P3,000 for the first offense, P4,000 for the second offense, and P5,000 for the third offense plus imprisonment depending on the discretion of the court.

Apart from that, violators will also be required to clean up their mess and restore the damaged property to its original condition.

Baring told SunStar Cebu that in the previous ordinance only P300, P500 and P1,500 was imposed to violators for the first to third offense, respectively.

“We adjusted to more stiffer penalties to deter offenders,” said Baring.

She emphasized that the city government is seriously undertaking the cleaning and greening program of Lapu-Lapu City in support of the national goals, as well as the street lighting and road asphalting of major roads in the city.

“These laudable projects will amount to nothing in the face of vandals and scrupulous individuals who find pleasure in dirtying walls of government buildings, uprooting planted seedlings, indiscriminate cutting down of trees, destroying and footing of tree guards, electric wires and electric bulbs, breaking street lighting bulbs and other wanton demeanors,” the Ordinance reads.

“It is the duty of the government to impose discipline which is lacking among a great majority of the children and the youth,” it added.

Under Section 1 of the said ordinance, vandalism and malicious mischief means the illegal, intentional and malicious commissions of acts such as writing on the walls of buildings and concrete fences; painting or spraying graffiti or throwing dirt on it; urinating and excreting human faces in public places like parks, playgrounds, school grounds, athletic grounds, markets, including church yards and other places open for public use; uprooting seedlings, cutting trees and destroying or pilfering of tree guards; breaking of street light bulbs, cutting or destroying electric wires and electric posts, or pilfering of such; illegal cutting of trees and ornamental plants along highways, streets, and roads; or other similar acts that are drawbacks and detrimental to the success of the cleaning and greening of the city.

The city’s policemen and barangay tanods are directed to arrest violators and place them under their custody until they have settled their penalty.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan, for his part, said they want the cleanliness to be maintained in the city.

“Kinahanglan gayud kontrolahon ang mga badlungon sa katilingban kay di ko mosugot nga inyung hugaw-hugawan ang atong syudad nga gipaningkamotan gayud sa pagpalimpyo sa atong mga empleyado sa gobyerno o sa mga pribadong indibidwal,” Chan said.

(It is necessary to control the delinquent persons in society because I do not agree that they will pollute our city that the government employees or private individuals have been trying to clean).

“Kung di gyud ninyu mapugngan ang inyung kaugalingon nga mag-vandal ug basin naa moy talento gyud sa art, sultii ko kay ato nang gamiton ang inyung talento sa maayu nga paagi pinaagi sa paggama og nindot nga mural o painting aron malipay sad ang mga katawhan nga makakita sa inyung obra,” he added.

(If you can't stop yourself from vandalizing and maybe you really have a talent for art, tell me because we will use your talent in a good way by making a beautiful mural or painting to make the people happy see your work). (MKG)