The City Council approved on second reading yesterday a stricter proposed resolution-ordinance prohibiting and penalizing the act of leaving unattended bags in public places.
The proposal was up for second reading since last week, but was deferred after most of the councilors expressed their concern about certain provisions of the proposed resolution.
Even yesterday’s proceedings on the proposal to penalize the act of leaving unattended bags in public areas took several hours of deliberation before it was finally approved.
“We have finally approved the proposal but this time it is stricter than the previous proposal,” Councilor Bernard Al-ag, chair committee on rules, privileges, laws and ordinances said in an interview yesterday.
While the original proposal prohibited only the act of leaving unattended baggage that will cause alarm, the amendment provides that the act be penalized even if the act does not cause alarm.
“Even if it did not cause panic and alarm it will already be penalized although there is a qualification in the penalty clause,” he said. If the act has not caused panic and alarm, then the penalty would be a warning and a minimal fine of at least P100.
However, Al-ag said, if the act has caused alarm then the previous proposed penalties will apply.
Al-ag said they met with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) last week and they were told that the local ordinance can provide a penalty higher than what is provided by the national law provided it falls within the P5,000 maximum penalty provided under the Local Government Code.
Councilor Bonifacio Militar’s proposal to use the Civil Code as a basis for the ordinance particularly Article 694 was incorporated in the resolution-ordinance.
Art. 694 provides that “A nuisance is any act, omission, establishment, business, condition of property, or anything else which: Injures or endangers the health or safety of others; or Annoys or offends the senses; or Shocks, defies or disregards decency or morality; or Obstructs or interferes with the free passage of any public highway or street, or any body of water; or Hinders or impairs the use of property.” Lovely A. Carillo