STIFFER penalties for vandalism in Bacolod City and more active involvement of parents, teachers and schools are being sought by a proposed ordinance of Councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue.

In a press statement, Batapa-Sigue said her ordinance seeks to amend City Ordinance No. 534 which prohibits the acts of vandalism and imposing penalties for violations thereof, authored by Councilor Caesar Distrito in 2011.

The proposal seeks to increase the penalty for first offense to a fine of P3,000 from P1,000 and imprisonment not less done three (3) months but not more than six (6) months depending on the gravity of the infraction in determining the gravity of the infraction. In the existing ordinance, there is no imprisonment for first offense.

For all succeeding offenses under the proposed ordinance, the fine shall be increased to P5,000 from “P3,000 and imprisonment not less done six (6) months but not more than one (1) year.

The ordinance also proposes that once the restoration of the property to its original state is not possible, the offender, or his or her parents, if he or she is a minor shall reimburse in full the total cost of the property damaged.

“The incidence of vandalism is very alarming in Bacolod and we have reason to believe that there are many, not just a few young people involved since the graffiti can be found even inside barangays and residential areas, not just in commercial areas,” Batapa-Sigue said.

The proposed ordinance enjoins schools as well as parents and teachers associations to cooperate with the city government in the conduct of dialogues and values seminars for identified truants and offenders enrolled in their schools and shall undertake measures to discourage or prevent such behavior.