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Vice Gov. Magpale backs curfew for minors

| by: Kelvin Cañizares

Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale fully supports the Provincial Board resolution backing the imposition of a nationwide curfew for minors.

“I personally support the resolution especially that a lot of minors are being used in illegal activities. We could help these minors because we have a facility for them,” said Magpale. She is known to champion the welfare of children as one of her advocacies.

The Cebu Provincial Government runs a rehabilitation facility in Barangay Tayud, Consolacion called “My Home”, which deals with children in conflict with the law.

The two-story building can accommodate up to 60 children and has therapy and counseling rooms, activity area and a clinic. It also has an in-house psychologist.

Children in conflict with the law can stay in the facility for six months up to one year where they will undergo therapy sessions, counseling and diversionary activities.

Last Monday, the PB approved the resolution authored by PB member Arleigh Sitoy and co-sponsored by PB member Sun Shimura. This is in support of the plan to impose a nationwide curfew for minors by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte once he assumes office.

Magpale, who is currently the acting governor since Gov. Hilario Davide III is still out of the country, was not the presiding officer of the PB when it approved the resolution.

Asked if keeping minors at home after 10 p.m. is enough to curb the growing number of children in conflict with the law, Magpale said that a massive education campaign on child protection is also needed to complement the curfew policy.

“We are now embarking on a massive campaign to protect children from the ills of society. We are going to visit schools and churches. We will also tap the help of the parents,” Magpale added.

The vice governor said parents’ help and cooperation are so important especially in protecting their children from cyber pornography. According to Magpale, cases of cyber pornography are currently on the rise.

In his curfew resolution, Sitoy said it has been observed that minors can be seen loitering the streets past bedtime and are exposed to the atrocities of the night. Some, he said, even gain access to illegal substances.

“Minors do not have any reason to stay in the streets beyond 10 in the evening, unless they are accompanied by their parents and relatives for certain occasions,” the resolution said.

Aside from the curfew measure for minors, Sitoy also proposed a resolution, supporting the plan to revive the death penalty. But the PB members deferred the measure since they wanted to have a thorough discussion with Sitoy, who is on leave.