BAGUIO CITY—The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance instituting a ban on profanity in all schools, computer shops and other business establishments frequented by children, high school and college students in the city.
Authored by Councilor Lilia A. Fariñas, the proposal says profanity “refers to blasphemous or obscene language, regular or irreverent speech or action, expletives, oath, swearing, swearword, coarse, coarseword, cussing, profane, or obscene expressions, usually of surprise or anger.”
Anti-profanity, as defined by the proposal, “would mean acts or measures to counter and prohibit the practice of profanity or the use of obscene language.”
Children in all schools and all levels, and those in establishments that kids frequent such as computer shops, would be banned “from cursing, cussing, expressing insults, whether directly or indirectly, to anyone or using profane and foul language as a means of expression, or as a manifestation of anger, surprise, disgust, or any other form of extreme emotion that yields to such expressions of profanity.”
Fariñas said the “revolting habit” can be observed most often in areas where children of different ages play games. It happens “especially among those that engage in war games and feudal battles [in computer shops], which cause them to insult each other with indecent and profane language, as if it were okay to do so.”
Swearing happens among the youth “especially because their parents or guardians are not present to correct their actions,” the councilor added. She said it was necessary to punish profanity “to preserve the identity of the Filipinos as a decent and ethically upright people.”
The proposal allows schools “to provide the necessary penalties, graduated accordingly to the extent they may deem necessary.” Any punishment must be “consistent to the limitations on penalties as provided for by the Constitution, the Juvenile Justice Act, and all other related laws and statutes that may govern the specific age group in the particular case concerned.”
“It has been observed nowadays that cursing has become a normal practice in common places everywhere, that even children seem to have even accepted the habit as a customary routine in the society, oblivious of the repercussions that may result,” the proposal claimed.