The Anti-Crime Task Force (ACTF) has placed all computer shops in the city that allow students to play interactive games during class hours under close watch, warning them they could be penalized if not closed for violating a local ordinance that regulates it.
City information officer and task force chief Richard Ligad said Wednesday that they have started strictly monitoring all computer shops in the city after receiving reports from the parents of the students who have become addicted to playing online games even during class hours.
“Meron kasing mga magulang na nag-report sa atin , nagpaaral sila ng mga anak nila and then all of a sudden malalaman nila nawiwili na, na-eengganyo na sa paglalaro ng computer. Nakakaawa lalo na ‘yong isang magulang na katulong sa umaga at waitress sa gabi mapatapos lang ang anak. Ang problema, nagkasakit pa ng cancer, Stage 1, tapos ‘yong anak nakapagloko, nawili sa computer shops,” he said.
Ligad said there is nothing wrong to do business, but computer shops in the city must know their limits because students need to attend classes.
He said no student will dare enter their computer shops if they do not allow them.
On Monday and Tuesday, he said ACTF personnel went around Puerto Princesa to distribute copies of City Ordinance No. 865 which regulates the establishment and operations of amusement, entertainment, and/or fun houses in Puerto Princesa so they will be guided.
The ordinance states that no minors are allowed to enter computers shops during class hours from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. during weekdays, he said.
Even if students claim they no longer have classes, computer shops are still prohibited from playing online games during the stated time period.
“Maging responsable tayong owner ng computer shops pag tinanong ang isang bata sasabihin noon wala na siyang pasok, natural magdadahilan. Pero bakit di natin sundin ang ordinansa na nakalagay doon ang computer shops puwede mag-operate pero hindi puwedeng mag-accommodate ng mga minor sa ganoong mga oras,” he said.
Penalties for violation of the ordinance are P3,000 for first offense, P5,000 for the second offense and cancellation of business permit for six months, and revocation of license and possible apprehension for the third.
ACTF personnel, he said, are currently undergoing a seminar and training workshop to be able to assist the City Licensing and Business Permits Office to monitor the computer shops.