City Starts Curfew Implementation

     Mayor Joy S. Valdez ordered the implementation of City Ordinance No. 331, otherwise known as "An Ordinance Providing Special Protection to Children by Imposing Curfew on Minors" last Sept. 15.
     Enforcement is being undertaken by the members of the Bacolod City Police Office, Barangay Captains and their Kagawads through their respective barangay tanods, and the Task Force Curfew members appointed by Mayor Valdez, with the curfew starting from 10 o’clock in the evening to 4 o’clock the following morning.
     Any minor found loitering in the city, barangay, or purok during the curfew period without any official function or valid authority from parents or legal guardians may be apprehended by the authorities.
      Upon apprehension, the violator will be issued a citation ticket, copies of which will be forwarded to their respective barangay and the Department of Social Services and Development.
     During the first apprehension, the minor will be issued a warning.
     On the second and subsequent apprehensions, the violator will be required to render community service for eight hours for every apprehension.
     Failure or refusal to comply with the sanction, the violator will be made to pay a P500-penalty or the parents be made to undergo the required community service.
     Violators will not be detained after apprehension or names entered in the police blotter report, except when the minor is committing a crime.
     Mayor Valdez is requesting parents to advise their young children to be at home before the start of the curfew for their own protection and welfare.

     She also asks all barangay captains, school officials, PTA officers, tri-media, church leaders and other concerned adults to help inform the minors in the city about the implementation of the curfew ordinance.
     Operators of videoke bars, disco houses, beer houses, movie houses, billiards houses, and other similar establishments have also been requested to help inform their customers about the curfew implementation.
     Meanwhile, six non-Bacolod minors were apprehended during the first night of implementations.
     The minors were issued citation tickets and warned to comply with the city’s curfew ordinance.*

Bacolod still very livable

     Several prominent citizens of Bacolod believe that this highly urbanized city continue to be a "livable city".
     Dr. Antonio Gauzon, a member of the City Peace and Order Council (CPOC), however, said that the killings must not be directly construed that living in the city is already that dangerous. He said that while there is truth to the reported killings in the city, "this does not necessarily indicate that living here is becoming dangerous".
     Liga ng Mga Barangay Kagawad president Francisco Doctora also agreed with Gauzon’s observation, saying "it is a very sweeping statement that is tantamount to sowing fear among our people".
     He also claimed that people in the 61 barangays in the city continue to enjoy a normal life and a high standard of peace and order.
     ABC president Councilor Arturo Parreño said that the peace and order situation in the city is not that decaying as perceive by other sectors. He said that despite the lack of policemen, the Bacolod City Police is doing its best in curbing criminality, thus, sustaining the national reputation of Bacolod City as the Most Livable City in the Philippines, apart from being the Cleanest and Greenest Highly Urbanized City.
     "We remain clean, green, and peaceful", he said, adding that robberies, killings, shootings, drug-related incidents, and other crimes can happen anywhere and at anytime because of the economic situation which is beyond the control of the local police.
     On the other hand, Parreño urged concerned citizens to "do our share in helping curb criminality and running after criminal syndicates by being vigilant and cooperating with the police through Patrol 117."

Anti-drug Drive gains ground
126 arrested, 8 barangays cleared

     The Bacolod City Police is No. 1 in anti drug addiction campaign in Western Visayas, according to P/SSupt. Felix Muchada, Regional Deputy Director for Administration of the Philippine National Police.
     This was confirmed by the report that the intensified anti-drug addiction campaign conducted by the Bacolod City Police Office from June 16 to September 3, 2003 has resulted to the arrest of 126 drug personalities and the clearing of the eight(8) of the fourteen (14) barangays that were earlier reported to have been threatened by drug addiction.
     P/SSupt. George A. Bajelot recently reported to Mayor Joy S. Valdez that the BCPO anti-illegal drug campaign is carried out through demand reduction and supply reduction approaches.
     The demand reduction approach focuses on the neutralization of drug personalities, while the supply reduction approach focuses on barangay clearing operation.
     Bajelot disclosed of the said 126 drug personalities that were arrested recently, 29 are drug pushers and 97 are drug users.
     On the other hand, 41 of the 112 drug personalities who are in the watch list have been also arrested. Among them are 16 pushers and 25 users.
     Bajelot also reported that during the aforesaid mentioned period, the BCPO has considered Brgys. 17, 20, 21, 35, 36, 38, 41, and Granada as free of drug addiction, as certified by their respective priests, school officials, SK Chairmen, Barangay Captains, and chairpersons of Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils.
     The other barangays undergoing clearing are Brgys. 16, 22, 27, and 29, but the police is experiencing difficulty in clearing Brgy. 2 due to the mushrooming of squatters.*

Mayor: MassKara will be better this year

     Mayor Valdez is optimistic the forthcoming 24th MassKara Festival will be a success with the anticipated influx of tourists in the city next month.
     She pointed out that several activities to be staged by various groups during the two-week celebration to kick off October 11 are already being evaluated by the MassKara Foundation, Inc. - the sole organization tasked to manage the MassKara Festival this year.
      According to MFI officials, this year’s MassKara Festival theme is "A Celebration of Life" to be highlighted by a street dancing competition during the 65th Charter Day on October 19.
      Mayor Valdez also said during a recent press conference that there is an increasing trend in the number of tourist arrivals in the city, which can be attributed to the series of conventions, meetings, conferences, and other official gatherings held in the city by various organizations nationwide.

October 13-17, 2003 Issue
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