National Curfew for kids below 18 y.o. pushed

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

Since most curfew hours for children have largely been localized, a bill filed in the lower house seeks the national adoption of curfew hours for children below 18 to spare them from being victimized by crime syndicates or to prevent them from engaging themselves in criminality at night.

 

House Bill 7110, authored by Rep. Bernadette Herrera Dy and others, seeks to mandate and strictly implement a set of hours during night time within which minors are prohibited from remaining outside of their homes, not only as a means of maintaining public order and safety and preventing the further rise in criminality, but also in order to protect minors from potential threat that may arise in the remote environment which may be harmful or detrimental to their development.

 

Herrera-Dy of the Bagong Henerasyon partylist chairs the committee on women and gender equality. She cited the rising involvement of children in gang wars, petty theft, street crimes and violent skirmishes at night regularly based on television news showing CCTV footages of these incidents.

 

We filed this bill because of the increasingly alarming number of children who have gone missing for over 24 hours, children that are abused by syndicates and unscrupulous individuals, as well as have been involved in crimes concerning abduction, rape, abuse, and theft, murder, among others, she explained.

 

HB 7110 seeks to protect children below the age of 18 because they are vulnerable to abuse leading to exploitation, drug addiction, and the commission of criminal acts, as well as also being at the risk of committing criminal offenses themselves.

 

The Quezon City Ordinance which the Supreme Court upheld as constitutional on August 8, 2017 is the template of this bill.  

 

Citing Section 3, Art. XV of the 1987 Constitution, she said, the state recognizes the role of the youth in nation -building and shall promote and protect their physical, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in. pubic and civic affairs.”

 

The same Constitution also provides that “The State shall defend the right of children to assistance, including proper care and nutrition, and special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial to their development” (Par. 2, Sec. 3, Art. XV)

 

Along with the above mentioned constitutional provisions, the Philippines is also a state party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of The Child, which establishes in Article 3 that, “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

 

 

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