A nationwide curfew—from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m—for individuals aged 18 and below, has been proposed in the House of Representatives.
Rep. Bernadette Herrera Dy of Bagong Henerasyon party-list who proposed the bill said:
“We filed this bill because of the increasingly alarming number of children who have gone missing for over 24 hours, children who are abused by syndicates and unscrupulous individuals, as well as those who have been abducted, raped, abused, involved in theft and murder, among others,” Dy, vice chairman of the House Committee on the Welfare of Children, said in a statement.
“Children below the age of 18 are vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, drug addiction, criminals as well as also being at risk of committing criminal offenses themselves. This aims to protect minors from an environment that could be detrimental to their development,” Dy added.
She said that her proposal also has the imprimatur of the Supreme Court, considering that the High Court has approved the legality of a Quezon City Ordinance imposing a similar curfew on August 8, 2017.
Dy also invoked Article 2, Section 13 of the 1987 Constitution which states that the “the state recognizes the role of the youth in nation building and will promote and protect their physical, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being; inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in. public and civic affairs.”
The 1987 Charter also provides that the “state should defend the rights of children to assistance, including proper care and nutrition, and special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial to their development.”
In addition, the country is also a party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which provides that “in all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”