May 27, 2024

Councilors Levy Lloyd Orcales and Betty Lourdes Tabanda have filed a proposed ordinance that sought to prohibit the establishment/operation of street gangs in the city and prevent the involvement of minors in gang violence.

Once enacted, the ordinance shall be known as “Street Gang Deterrence Ordinance of 2021.”

Under the ordinance, establishing or leading a street gang in the city and recruiting/inducing minors to participate in any sort of street gang violence shall be punishable.

A street gang, according to the ordinance, is a “formal or informal group/organization/assembly (that) acts or agrees to act in concert to engage in delinquent behavior, commit street gang violence, or instigate community disorder.”

A City Juvenile Justice and Welfare Task Force shall be created with the city mayor as the chairperson; sanggunian’s chairperson of the committee on youth welfare and sports development as the vice chairperson; and City Social Welfare and Development Officer as the action officer.

Members of the task force shall be the president of the Federation of Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children and representatives from the Public Order and Safety Division, Baguio City Police Office-Women’s and Children’s Protection Desk (BCPO-WCPD), City Youth Development Office, and from non-government organizations in the city.

The task force shall prepare and implement a comprehensive local juvenile intervention program to be submitted to the sangguniang panlungsod for approval and integration into the annual Local Development Plan for Children.

According to the ordinance, apprehended minors shall undergo intervention programs to be prepared by the task force, which include counseling, skills training, seminars on values formation, anger management, and participation in available community-based activities.

Adults who are apprehended shall be subject to the requirements of due process and shall be penalized once proven guilty by completing 120 hours of community service to be completed within three months, or paying P5,000, or both at the discretion of the court without prejudice to any liability for the violation of any provision of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, or other laws.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office shall craft the implementing rules and regulations of the ordinance.

The proposed ordinance has been referred to the sanggunian’s committee on youth welfare and sports development following its approval on first reading. – Jordan G. Habbiling