Dahino cmte discuss proposed child travel restriction law

THE City Council committee on women and family relations chaired by Councilor Edna M. Dahino last week started discussions on the proposed ordinance regulating the travel of Children or Minors alone or unaccompanied by parents or guardians to and from Cagayan de Oro City without proper documentation.

Authored by Councilor Dahino, the ordinance, shall be known as the “Unaccompanied Minor/Child Travel Restriction Ordinance of 2017.”

It seeks to monitor the travel of minors in and out of the city and protect minors against child trafficking. The proposed law also wants to ensure that the parents, legal guardians or custodians have direct knowledge of the minor’s whereabouts, who he/she is travelling with, and the purpose of his/her travel.

The proposed law penalizes person(s) responsible for making fraud documents or papers to comply with the requirements set and ensure the investigation of parents, legal guardians, or custodians who consent to the travel of the minor/child for the purpose of exploitation, prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale of organs and of other person(s) involved.

During the meeting, a suggestion was raised that a written parental consent shall be required in lieu of an affidavit.

“An affidavit of parental consent can be very difficult to secure especially in times of emergencies because this shall be notarized first by a lawyer,” a DSWD representative explained.

However, for it to be more valid, it should be certified by the barangay chairman or any of its officials, the representative added.

According to the City’s Legal Office, an affidavit can still be an option aside from the written parental consent noting its legal efficacy or force.

Councilor Dahino said these and other issues raised will be studied further.

Careful analysis will be made as to its conformity with the national law, she added. (JAO)