THE Cagayan de Oro City Council approved on Monday, March 19, an ordinance localizing the national Child Protection Law.
According to City Councilor Edna Marban-Dahino, Ordinance 2018-28 or the Child Protection Ordinance was created to protect the children from exploitation and forced labor or child trafficking; and to help the police officers and other enforcers in apprehending the violators.
"Duna gyud silay magamit sa pag-apprehend sa mga violators nga insigida matabangan gyud nato, insigida atong madakop, atong ma-question, atong ma-interrogate ang atong mga violators kay naa may uban gud nga dili na sila mahadlok kay wala man, national ra (Now there's a local law that they can use when apprehending the violators, so they can immediately interrogate or question them. Violators nowadays are not afraid of violating the national law)," Dahino said.
She said under the ordinance, a budget is allocated to police officers and to those people who will be of help in imposing the localized law.
"After 60 days, mabuhatan na sya og IRR o Implementing Rules and Regulations para ma implementar na gyud ni kay dugay na ni gihangyo, dugay na ni gipaabot sa atong NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), dugay na gipaabot sa atong mga kapulisan para na magamit nila sa pag apprehend (the IRR or the Implementing Rules and Regulations will be created for the implementation of the ordinance, as this has been anticipated by the NBI and police in order for them to use during their operations)," Dahino said, adding that the enforcers cannot immediately act because of the lack of local law.
Before its approval, the ordinance underwent several debates and revision of some of its provisions.
As suggested by City Councilor Leon Gan, the ordinance was changed from being mandatory to directory; and instead of imprisoning parents who neglect their children or give them the permission to travel without the supervision of an adult, they will be fined.
According to Dahino, Cagayan de Oro City was ranked second in Northern Mindanao in terms of child trafficking cases and ranked fourth in the Philippines. This prompted the city councilor to create the child protection ordinance.