La Trinidad mulls computer shop regulation

LA TRINIDAD Councilor Roderick Awingan is batting for the regulation of operations of computer, internet, and other similar establishments in the municipality.

“The internet and computer shops have expanded its services, it is also one of the reasons why we have a lot of children addicted,” said Awingan.

In the proposed ordinance, no establishments will be allowed to operate gaming or computer games either online during schools hours from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays or on Saturdays when classes are held.

Computer gaming shops are strictly prohibited from allowing entry of student during school hours.

Business hours of the establishments for all minors, both students and out-of-school youth will be limited only up to seven in the evening.

The ordinance also regulates the acts of engaging, performing, exhibiting any sexual, immoral or obscene act, which are offensive to moral, decency and good customs in front of a digital camera, computer video camera, camera equipped mobile phones, and webcams. Furtheremore, intentionally producing, distributing and transmitting images or videos, which are immoral, obscene act, evil and violence are prohibited.

Owners of internet cafes, or computer rental shops are mandated to undertake measures in their operations, ensure strictly that customers ID's, class schedules and authorization from parents/ guardians of students particularly minors must be checked as a basis for allowing or disallowing to enter the premises.

Necessary warning against access to pornographic and online gambling sites should also be displayed.

An inspection team composed of representatives from the municipal licensing office, and the La Trinidad Municipal Police Station to conduct regular inspection of computer shops during their business hours to ensure compliance with the ordinance.

In case of complaints received from any concerned citizen against the business establishments, the inspection team will act within seven days and submit a report to the local chief executive no later than 15 days from their inspection.

“We can say that computer shops are part of our lives because of information technology, but information technology can destroy the lives of the children and it is the right of the local government to regulate these services offered in the public,” said Awingan.

Computer shops violating the ordinance will be fined P1,500 for first offense, P2,000 for second offense, and P2,500 and revocation of business permit for third and final offense.

Apprehended minors who violates provision of the ordinance will be managed appropriately pursuant to provisions of the La Trinidad’s children in conflict with the law ordinance.

Awingan added the proposed ordinance will undergo public consultation.
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