MANILA, Aug. 9 — The Quezon City government on Tuesday night began imposing the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew for minors after the Supreme Court (SC) affirmed that the city ordinance on “discipline hours for minors” is constitutional.
Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista has expressed gratitude over the SC decision.
“I haven’t read the SC order at this point (but the) QC government thanks the Supreme Court for their timely decision,” Bautista said in a short statement.
“We can now implement the Discipline Hour Ordinance in Quezon City. The 142 barangays will now ensure that the provisions of the Ordinance are judiciously enforced with full consideration of human rights.”
The constitutionality of City Ordinance 2301-2014 — also known as the Quezon City Discipline Hours for Minors — and similar ordinances from Manila and Navotas, was questioned before the high court in July last year by the group, Samahan ng mga Progresibong Kabataan.
The SC granted the group’s request for a temporary restraining order to bar the three cities from imposing their respective ordinances.
However, during the high court’s deliberation on Tuesday, the justices ruled that only Quezon City’s ordinance is constitutional and complies with guidelines.
The ordinance stipulates that “the parent or guardian of the curfew violator will be penalized for allowing the minor to go out during this period, either knowingly or by insufficient control”.
The city ordinance was enacted in response to complaints about the rising number of minors roaming the streets, endangering motorists or getting involved in street crimes and illegal drugs.
The measure, however, exempts minors who are in public places but are accompanied by their parents or guardians, as well as those who are enrolled in evening classes or are on their way to or from a school activity or organization where their attendance is required or indispensable.
The ordinance also exempts young people who participate in activities sponsored or permitted by the city, barangay, school or other civic or religious groups, as well as minors on board a vehicle with their parents or guardians or those engaged in authorized employment activity.
A minor found violating the curfew for the first time will be referred to the nearest barangay hall or police station. The parent or guardian will be fined PHP2,000 or will be required to render community service for 48 hours.
For the second violation, the parent or guardian will be penalized with a fine of PHP3,000 or 72 hours of community service.
Third and subsequent violations carry a fine of PHP5,000 or a prison term of six months.
Minors who habitually violate the curfew will be turned over to the Quezon City Social Services Development Department for counseling.
It was learned that Quezon City began to enforce the ordinance on Tuesday night and some minors were apprehended. No other detail was available as of press time.