House bill seeks to impose nationwide curfew for minors

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 9) – A bill seeking to implement a nationwide curfew for minors, or individuals below 18 years old, was filed at the House of Representatives on Monday.

According to House Bill No. 1016 filed by Bagong Henerasyon party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, minors will be prohibited to stay in public places from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

In her explanatory note, the House Deputy Minority Leader said imposing a nationwide curfew for minors will help maintain peace and order and reduce crimes in the country.

“Children below the age of 18 are vulnerable to abuse to exploitation, drug addiction, and the commission of criminal acts, as well as also being at the risk of committing criminal offenses themselves,” Dy added.

Under the bill, minors accompanied by a parent or guardian aged at least 18 years old are exempted from the curfew.

Also exempted are minors attending official school, religious, recreational, educational, social, and community activities organized by schools, local government units, or civic organizations.

Minors who will violate the curfew will be brought to the nearest barangay hall or police station by any law enforcement officer, who must observe the proper arresting procedures prescribed under Republic Act No. 9344 or the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act of 2006.

For the first offense, the parent or guardian of the arrested minor must render community service for 48 hours and/or must pay a ₱2,000 fine. The Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) will conduct a counseling to the child before the minor is turned over to the parent or guardian.

For the second offense, the penalty for the parent or guardian of the arrested minor is 72 hours of community service and/or payment of ₱3,000 fine. The minor and the parent or guardian are required to attend two straight counseling sessions to be conducted by the BCPC.

For the third and succeeding offenses, minors found violating the curfew will be brought to the nearest local office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development for counseling. The parent or guardian of the arrested minor will be penalized with an imprisonment of six months and/or a fine of ₱5,000.