DEPARTMENT of the Interior and Local Government officials on Tuesday expressed strong support for a bill seeking to impose a nationwide curfew for minors.
At a congressional hearing Tuesday, Local Government Undersecretary for Barangay Affaairs Martin Diño said a nationwide curfew for minors would address juvenile delinquency as this would help instill discipline among the youth.
“We [DILG] support the imposition of a nationwide curfew among minors,” Diño told a congressional hearing by the House committee on the welfare of children chaired by Zamboanga del Sur Rep. Divina Grace Yu.
The committee deliberated on House Bill 7110 filed by Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy of Bagong Henerasyon.
Diño said the proposed nationwide curfew would also discourage criminals from using minors in the commission of crimes.
Diño echoed the support expressed by the Philippine National Police chief, Director General Ronald dela Rosa, saying “that [absence of a law imposing curfew on children] has been the long source of frustration of the police.”
He added a nationwide curfew would also “protect the minors from abuse and exploitation.”
“By passing this measure, the barangay will be able to intervene and help protect our children without being questioned on the issue of human rights,” he said.
Herrera-Dy filed HB 7110 which seeks to impose a nationwide curfew “for better child safety and protection of welfare persons under 18 years old.”
The bill seeks to impose a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew on minors.
A similar measure, HB 894, authored by Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan, has been approved by the committee.
The proposed “Safe Hours for Children Act” prohibits parents or guardians from letting children loiter, roam around, meander or sleep in any public place from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. without lawful purpose or justifiable reason.
The bill also provides that parents or guardians of children violating the Act for the third time or succeeding offenses shall pay a fine of P500 to P1,000 or render community service for five to 10 days, or both.
Exempted from the law are children chaperoned or accompanied by either parent or guardian; travelling or commuting between school and abode; engaged in an authorized employment activity or going to or returning home from the same without any detour or stop; involved in an emergency; attending an official school, religious, recreational, educational, social, community, or other organized activity sponsored by the government, school or other private civic organization; going to or returning home from such activity without any detour or stop; or dismissed from their classes late in the evening.
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