What to expect during Makati curfew for minors
MANILA, Philippines – A new ordinance in Makati City sets curfew hours for minors and for adults with learning disabilities.
City Ordinance Number 2017-098, or the Child Protection Ordinance of the City of Makati, aims to prevent children under the age of 18, and also those of legal age who have learning disabilities, from staying out too late.
The curfew hours are from 10 pm to 4 am.
Here's what Makati City residents should expect from the ordinance and what a parent or guardian should do if a child is rescued by police or public safety officers while the curfew is in effect.
1. During the curfew, minors and those with learning disabilities cannot be in the following areas:
- streets, highways, alleys, sidewalks, curbs, gutters
- parking lots, vacant lots
- parks, playgrounds
- driveways, walkways
- public buildings
- common areas in and around churches, apartment buildings, office buildings, hospitals, schools
- places of entertainment such as computer shops, internet cafés, movie theaters, and similar establishments
- dining places
- other unsupervised places
2. Children are exempted if:
- they are accompanied by their parent, guardian, or "other adult person having care and custody over the child, provided that the child is not being used for any crime or illegal activity"
- they are doing family emergency errands
- they are going home from work, school, or religious-related activity (a certificate of attendance for the activity will be required)
3. What will happen if authorities spot a child violating the curfew?
- Police, public safety officers, or barangay Bantay Bayan personnel have to ask the child's age, as well as the child's reason for being in a given location.
- The deputized officer or enforcer should submit a report to the barangay captain about a given incident.
In case a rescue is required, these are the steps:
- Authorities must take the child to his or her residence. The child will be released to a parent or guardian there once documents are presented to prove the adult's relationship to the child.
- The parent or guardian must also agree, in writing, to attend a Parent's Effectiveness Seminar (PES) or other parenting-related seminar, while the child must undergo counseling.
- Parents or guardians who fail to attend the seminar will be penalized. In this case, their city-sponsored benefits are suspended temporarily. These include benefits under the Makati Health Program (Yellow Card), such as free outpatient services, subsidized hospitalization, and free medicines.
- If a parent or guardian is not there, the child may be released to a barangay official, Bantay Bayan, or to a member of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC). If the child does not have a known parent or guardian, the child will be brought to the Makati Social Welfare Department (MSWD); there, a petition will be filed to declare the child abandoned and neglected.
- If the rescued child does not live in Makati City, he or she will be temporarily placed in a holding area while authorities try to find his or her residence, parent, guardian, or relative.
For a child who has been rescued twice:
- The MSWD will assess the child, together with the parent or guardian. They will also have to go an intervention and rehabilitation program.
- Noncompliance with the agreed intervention will qualify the child as a "child at risk" (CAR) and will give the MSWD an option to file a petition for the child's involuntary or voluntary commitment in court.
For recurring cases:
- Parents or guardians of children rescued multiple times – after thorough assessment by a professional social worker of MSWD – shall be presumed as committing acts of child abuse, cruelty, or exploitation, under Republic Act No. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act and City Ordinance No. 2004-A-017.
- The social worker or barangay official may file a complaint with the Office of the City Prosecutor.