MASANTOL -- In an aim to lessen crime incidents involving minors in this town, the local government here has intensified the implementation of its curfew hours.
According to Mayor Danilo Guintu, the curfew hours run from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and cover all individuals, particularly minors, who are roaming the streets of Masantol without any official business.
He stressed that minors must be accompanied by their parents or guardians or must present their identification cards during the said curfew hours to ensure that they are not only out for leisure purposes.
Guintu said that the local police, together with village officials, continue to patrol around town to check on possible residents or individuals loitering the streets during the curfew period.
“Kapag una pa lang na nakita, binibigyan muna ng warning ng kapulisan, lalo na kung hindi naman taga-dito. Pero kapag napansin na madalas at pakalat-kalat lang naman sila sa daan, nakatambay, iyon ang aming mga hinuhuli,” he said.
Apprehended individuals are brought to the village hall or local police station and the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer for Minors for counseling and information and dissemination.
To further strengthen the program, the mayor said that he recently met with lugaw (congee) vendors in the town and asked them to cease their operations from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. so as not to encourage residents here and from nearby towns to go and eat out.
“Marami kasing instances na may mga nasisita na dumadayo pa galing Macabebe para lang kumain ng lugaw so para maiwasan yun, nakipag-usap kami sa mga naglulugaw at pumayag naman sila,” he said.
Since the program was implemented in 2015, Guintu said that crime incidents in town, particularly theft and street wars involving the youth, significantly went down by almost 90 percent.
He credited the positive progress to the strict implementation of the program and cooperation of the residents, businessmen and investors in the town.