Student security, safety ordinance proposed

Student security, safety ordinance proposed

The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed student security and safety ordinance.

The said measure authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated that the ordinance will apply to all primary, secondary, tertiary, vocational and technical schools, public or private, operating in the city.

The ordinance stipulated that the provision of better security measures is intended for the schools in cooperation with government agencies and local authorities surrounding schools to safeguard the education sector’s investment.

Under the proposed ordinance, among the security measures that will be implemented by the schools in coordination with concerned government agencies and local authorities include increased police and barangay public order and safety officer visibility in all areas within the immediate vicinity of every school and that there should be regular patrols during daytime and nighttime; all schools shall install closed circuit television cameras in strategic locations but not limited to entrance or exit halls, car parks, and other common areas; all schools shall provide adequate lighting within and around their vicinity; in the event of heavy rains and other disasters or heavy rains, the schools shall provide safe and secure accommodation within the school premises to stranded students and the local government authorities, particularly the barangays, shall designate loading and unloading areas on streets surrounding schools where public utility vehicles will be temporarily be allowed to stop and where students will be required to fall in line.

The ordinance emphasized that all schools located within the city as well as local authorities shall effect full compliance to the said measures not later than 3 months upon approval of the proposed measure.

The Council for Student Welfare pursuant to Ordinance No. 53, series of 2008 shall also compose the technical working group designated as the implementing office in charge of securing the compliance of the schools to the aforesaid measures.

Any person or official found violating the pertinent provisions of the ordinance shall be penalized with a fine of P5,000 or an imprisonment of 30 days or both at the discretion of the court. If the offender is a school, the penalty shall be imposed upon the officer or officers.

Article 2, section 5 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provided that the maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, property and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment of all the people of the blessings of democracy.

In the exercise of its police power and the general welfare clause of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local government code, the council may lay down ordinances to promote health and safety, maintain peace and order, and preserve the comfort and convenience of their inhabitants.

The city plays host to the majority of schools, colleges and universities in Northern Luzon with one-third of the city’s population consisting of students living within and around the surrounding towns from the nearby provinces. The said population has also been a major contributor in the city’s robust economy over the past several decades. – Dexter A. See