SAYING the Cebu City Government does not have enough facilities for rescued minors, Mayor Tomas Osmeña has withdrawn his directive on the strict enforcement of the curfew ordinance.
However, City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (Cosap) Executive Director Garry Lao said the tanods in all 80 barangays will still continue with their foot patrol and deliver loitering minors past 10 p.m. back to their homes.
The issue on the implementation of the curfew made headlines last week after the mayor ordered all barangay tanods to strictly enforce it or risk losing their P4,000 monthly allowance from the City Government.
The directive is in response to reports of a gang recruiting elementary school students in Basak Pardo.
But in his news conference yesterday, Osmeña said he will no longer have the implementation of the ordinance as the basis to cut the allowances of around 2,000 tanods in the city.
“I’m saying that we cannot and will not implement the curfew ordinance. Were reaching a point where we can’t implement it. Did I make a mistake? Yes, I did. Sorry. I’m just going to admit it,” he told reporters.
City Ordinance (CO) 1786, or the curfew ordinance, prohibits minors from loitering outside their houses from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. the following day.
For the first offense, parents will have to pick up their children at the barangay hall, where they will sign an agreement that they won’t allow their children to wander at night.
Second offenders will have to attend a seminar, while third offenders will have to do mandatory community service.
For the fourth offense, the City Government will charge parents or guardians with violating Republic Act 7610, or the Anti-Child Abuse Law.
Osmeña, though, clarified that he is not stopping the barangays from enforcing the curfew ordinance on their own discretion.
“Of course, they can implement it. We will help them (barangay-based implementation). But those that will create violence, minor or not, will still be apprehended,” he added.
Lao, for his part, said the implementation of the curfew will remain a part of the requirements the tanods will need to comply with in their accomplishment reports.
Since September last year, the tanods have been submitting twice a month their accomplishment reports to Cosap.
This will be used by City Hall as the basis on whether to cut or continue the giving of allowances to the tanods.
“It’s still part of our recommendation for cutting the allowance because if they have not conducted roving patrol, that means they did not do anything. It’s up to the barangays, but for Cosap, that’s part of the tanods’ job,” Lao said.
Lao, who met with around 100 tanods yesterday, said the latter have been amenable with rescuing minors and taking them back to their homes.
Last night at 10 p.m., a synchronized implementation of CO 1786 was done by all 80 barangays.
“We need to be consistent. The difficulty is just in the beginning. If this becomes a routine practice, we will be able to address the problem,” Lao said.
Meanwhile, Councilor Margarita Osmeña, head of the City Council committee on budget and finance assured the tanods that the City is already processing the releasing of their allowances. (RTF)