THE 18TH Davao City Council passed on second reading last week an ordinance prohibiting the unauthorized production, manufacture, storage, sale, distribution and possession or use of uniforms and accoutrements of law enforcement agencies in the city.

The ordinance has already been approved in principle, although it has to be read again the third time to get official approval.

The item, which was proposed by Peace and Order Committee chair Mabel Sunga-Acosta, requires persons and establishments engaged in the business of production, manufacture, sale, or distribution of uniforms and other accoutrements to have an accreditation certificate issued by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) prior to the issuance of Mayor's permit.

Under the ordinance, prospective buyers of uniforms must also have authorization of purchase from the AFP, PNP, or any uniformed law enforcement agency, fully citing purpose for which the uniforms and other accoutrements will be used.

Prospective wearer of uniform or other accoutrements of law enforcement agencies will be required to apply for authorization for use, fully citing purposes authorized under Republic Act 493.

In this ordinance, uniforms and other accoutrements include uniforms, badges, insignia, and other accoutrements of the AFP, PNP and uniformed law enforcement agencies. This also covers which have close semblance to the color, design and pattern of official uniforms and accoutrements.

Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Corrections, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Bureau of Immigration, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Philippine Ports Authority, Philippine Coast Guard, Land Transportation Office, Office of the Transportation Security, Bureau of Customs, City Transportation and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO), and other uniformed law enforcement agencies are covered with this proposed ordinance.

Section 3 of the ordinance requires establishment to post their accreditation certificate in public and conspicuous area within the establishment, and shall record transactions involving uniforms and accoutrements by documenting the details of the authorization certificate.

Section 4 of the ordinance states that all accredited establishments shall require the members of AFP, PNP and other law enforcement agencies to present their official and valid AFP, PNP, or law enforcement agency identification card prior to any purchase.

Any person other than members of law enforcement agencies, who shall purchase uniforms of accoutrements, shall be required to show authorization for purchase from the immediate superior and show a photocopy of the official and valid identification cared of the principal buyer and person authorized to purchase on his behalf, prior to any transaction.

Section 5 states that any person who shall use uniforms or accoutrements for the purposes authorized under RA 493, is required to submit an affidavit of undertaking stating the purpose of duration and use thereof, to the local or regional head of office of the AFP, PNP, or respective law enforcement agency for the issuance of an authorization for use.

Prohibited acts under this proposed ordinance is the, (a) purchase or use of uniforms or other accoutrements by individuals who are not members of AFP, PNP or other uniformed law enforcement agencies, except when duly authorized, (b) The production, manufacture, storage, sale, distribution or possession of uniforms or other accoutrements without the proper accreditation certificates issued by the concerned agency and the business or mayor's permit issued by Business bureau, (c) failure to record, by any person or establishment, every transaction , including details of the distribution of uniforms and other accoutrements, (d) the use of any uniform or accoutrements for the purposes other than what is covered by the issued authorization of use.

Paragraph A of Section 7 states that first offense of the violation of the ordinance, for individuals, is confiscation of the item and an administrative five of P1,500, second offense will entail confiscation of the item, an penalty of P3,000, and imprisonment of not more than 6 months at the discretion of the court, this offense is the confiscation of items a penalty of P5,000 and imprisonment of not more than 1 year at the discretion of the court.

"In case violation is committed by an establishment, or juridical person, it shall result to confiscation of items, the revocation of its business license or permit, immediate closure of the establishment, including its offices, buildings, warehouses, stockrooms or any other place where the uniforms or other accoutrements are being produced, manufactured, stored, sold and/or distributed, and forfeiture of all the paraphernalia used in the same, without prejudice to the imposition of fines," Section 7 of the ordinance read.

Section 8 said that all the penalties states in paragraph A of Section 7 or penalties, shall not apply to the violations covered by RA493 and EO 297-2000.

This item will be approved for third and final reading within this week.