June 17, 2024

The city government reminded residents that an ordinance prohibiting the establishment and operation of street gangs and recruitment of minors to instigate violence and community disorder has been in effect in the city since December 2021.

It may be recalled that Mayor Benjamin Magalong signed on Nov. 23, 2021 Ordinance 99 s. 2021 authored by councilors Levy Lloyd Orcales and Betty Lourdes Tabanda.

The ordinance prohibits the creation and operation of street gang that vehemently disregards the safety and well-being of an individual; recruitment of persons including minors to participate in street gang violence; instigation on the conduct of gang graffiti; and other activities that disturb public order and threatens public safety and convenience.

It also provides intervention mechanism for the minor offenders.

It was adopted to address activities of street gangs and similar groups taking advantage of misguided minors, children at risk and children in conflict with the law and use and expose them to violence and illegal activities that turn them into juvenile delinquents, unruly citizens, and future burdens of society.

The measure mandates the creation of the City Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council to be chaired by the mayor to take the lead in the implementation of the provisions of the ordinance.

The council is tasked to formulate a Comprehensive Local Juvenile Intervention Program for integration into the annual Local Development Plan for Children.

The intervention program should address the reformation needs of the minor offenders and their families.

For adult offenders, sanctions are a fine of P5,000 and imprisonment of one to 30 days or both.

The Office of the City Social Welfare and Development Officer is mandated to formulate the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the ordinance in coordination with the City Juvenile Justice and Welfare Task Force.  – Aileen P. Refuerzo