By LITO RULONA
City Councilor Edna Dahino expressed disappointment over the deferment of her proposed ordinance that would regulate the travel of children who are unaccompanied by their parents or legal guardians.
In its regular session this week, Dahino’s proposed ordinance has been deferred by a majority of the city council twice since she first submitted the draft to the city council.
Dahino’s proposed ordinance no. 2017-153 seeks strict regulations on the travel of children or minors alone or unaccompanied by their parents or guardians to and from Cagayan de Oro without proper documentation.
The city councilors who blocked the proposed ordinance were Majority Floor Leader Ian Mark Nacaya, Teodulfo Lao, Jr., Romeo Calizo, Reuben Daba, Dometillo Acenas, and Minority Floor Leader Leon Gan.
Those who favored for the passage of the ordinance were city councilors George Goking, Enrico Salcedo, Jay Pascual, Lourdes Gaane, Suzette Magtajas-Daba, and Dahino.
Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin Uy broke the tie in favor to the deferment asking for more details on the proposed ordinance including financial support from the city hall during the enforcement period.
“I don’t think nga kulang. Dili lang nako masabtan kung unsa gyud ang kulang. My proposed ordinance is in order apan mao man gyud ilang gusto nga i-pending. Dili ako abogado but for me my conviction is to protect the family,” she said.
She said the city ranked fourth in the entire country and second in the Mindanao for human trafficking cases.
“This is very alarming. Pray na lang kita nga mapasar gyud kini sunod semana. This is not only my idea but from a collective idea from other national government agencies,” Dahino said.
Dahino said the Department of Justice, Department of Social Welfare and Development, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, as well as the other member agencies in the city’s Inter-agency Children Anti-Trafficking Council have been waiting for her proposed ordinance to be enacted.
“My ordinance was studied and reviewed by a battery of lawyers from the City Legal Office and by experts from national agencies,” said Dahino adding that her intention is to lower, if not, rid the city of human trafficking, especially on children.
She said the anti-trafficking council is mandated to draft and push for the approval of laws for the protection of children.
“Everything has been polished and it was drafted a long time ago. Its approval is considered long overdue. Tanan prosecutors gibuhos na ilang suggestions to draft this,” Dahino said.