New law provides community service as penalty for minor offenses

Maris Federez   •   August 14, 2019   •   1430

Minor offenses may now just be meted out with community service and not detention.

Based on Republic Act 11-362 or the Community Service Act that was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 8, courts are now allowed to issue community service instead of imprisonment for arresto menor (one day to 30 days imprisonment) and arresto mayor (one month and one day to six months).

The law defines community service as “any actual physical activity which inculcates civic consciousness, and is intended towards the improvement of a public work or promotion of public service.”

The law seeks to uphold the policy of the State to promote restorative justice and decongest jails.

In an interview, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said minor offenses include causing alarm and scandal, malicious mischief, and intentional breakage of others’ goods.

The law also reads that community service will be done in the place where the crime was committed.

The court will set the number of hours and on what means the community service will be, depending on the gravity of the crime.

The law said that if the defendant, however, violates the terms of the community service, “the court shall order his or her rearrest and the defendant shall serve the full term of the penalty, as the case may be, in jail, or in the house of the defendant.”

The law further said that “if the defendant has fully complied with the terms of the community service, the court shall order the release of the defendant unless detained for some other offense.”

Offenders will also have to undergo rehabilitative counseling to be supervised by a Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) officer.

The DOJ and the DSWD shall issue the rules and regulations to implement the provisions of the Act within 90 days from its effectivity. /mbmf

DILG backs proposed community service as penalty for quarantine violators

Robie de Guzman   •   April 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday expressed support for the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) proposal to impose community service instead of jail time as a penalty for those who violate quarantine protocols against COVID-19.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya issued the statement during the Laging Handa public briefing when asked about Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra’s suggestion.

Malaya, however, clarified that quarantine violators are not immediately arrested under the existing policy. He said violators are usually given a warning for the first offense and are asked to pay a fine for the second offense.

The DILG official also said that the local government units are the ones that set their own penalties for quarantine violations through local ordinances.

“Let me first say that our policy is not to go straight to arrests. In fact, most of the time, the first offense only yields a warning, and the second offense is usually a fine” Malaya said in a mix of Filipino and English.

“These penalties are within the scope of ordinances passed by cities and municipalities and signed by mayors. So, these are not controlled by the National Task Force of Inter-Agency Task Force,” he added. “Having said that, we support this initiative, and if our councilors are willing to amend their ordinances, that’s well and good. It might be better to have [violators] do community service instead.”

Guevara, in a Palace press briefing on Monday, said he has recommended to the Inter-Agency Task Force not to arrest or detain those who continue to violate quarantine protocols, and instead impose community service as a punishment.

The DOJ chief said the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act penalizes “non-cooperation” of persons identified as having a notifiable disease and those who are supposed to report it.

He, however, said that the law was not specific when it came to actual violations.

“Yung statutes like Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases, meron doong provision on non-cooperation, but you know medyo hindi siya shoot na shoot eh, hindi sya talagang very exact to the actual violation,” he said.

“I also recommend that in the enforcement, the stricter enforcement of the ordinances, that LGUs consider the possibility of imposing na lamang the penalty of community service for those who will continue to violate our ordinances rather than imprison or rather than putting them in jail or fining them, eh kasi talaga ngang mahirap na ang buhay sa ECQ,” he added. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

QC gov’t to strictly implement ban on fireworks, pyrotechnics in December

UNTV News   •   November 21, 2017

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The local government of Quezon City is just waiting for the completion of the Implementing Rules and Regulations or IRR of the ordinance banning the use of firecrackers in public areas before enforcing it next month.

The City Ordinance 2618 considers roads, alleys, parks, basketball courts, among others, as public areas.

According to the author of the law, 2nd District Councilor Rannie Ludovica, the new regulation aims to help the public avoid accidents, and reduce the pollution caused by firecrackers.

“The safety of ordinary citizens and motorists are threatened because of firecrackers being thrown on the road.  Imagine if you were driving and firecrackers are thrown at you or someone will put “sawa” (a long string of firecrackers) on the road,” QC 2nd District Coun. Rannie Ludovica said.

Under the ordinance, the city government will designate a community display area where residents could conduct fireworks display or pyrotechnics. One designated community display area is the Quezon Memorial Circle.

The regulation mandates the apprehension of individuals caught selling firecrackers without permits in public places.

First-time violators will face a penalty of community service.

Those who will be caught committing the violation twice will have to pay a fine of P1-thousand to P2-thousand with a community service.

Third-time violators will have to pay P5-thousand with imprisonment.

Some residents consider the ordinance as a convenience.

“It’s better if they will totally ban it so no one would get injured,” QC resident Adolfo Cogaya said.

“You will be shocked sometimes because you don’t know that the firecracker is already in front of you. Sometimes, you will get injured,” QC resident Benedicta Asis said.

Village chieftains will be in charge of monitoring the enforcement of the law.

It can be recalled that last June, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Executive Number 28 which limits the use of firecrackers in the country to community fireworks display. – Macky Libradilla | UNTV News & Rescue

MMDA intensifies anti-jaywalking campaign in Metro Manila

admin   •   February 21, 2017

FILE PHOTO: Jaywalkers somewhere along EDSA

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will start this week the strict implementation of the “No Jaywalking Policy” in the main roads of Metro Manila.

The policy aims to discipline people who do not cross at the pedestrian crossing, as well as motorists and passengers who alight and ride vehicles at prohibited areas.

Areas closely monitored by the MMDA include Edsa-Muñoz, Cubao, Ortigas area, Pasay Rotunda and Commonwealth Avenue.

WATCH: MMDA plans to regulate PUJs along EDSA

Violators will be seized and fined.

“We will have a bus to make rounds. We will give them an option wherein they can pay P500 fine, or they can attend their lecture and do community service,” said MMDA OIC/general manager Thomas Orbos.

If unable to pay the fine, violators will render a three-hour community service. This is done every last Friday of the month.

Among the activities are cleaning drainage, picking up garbage in streets and cleaning up Pasig River.

WATCH: MMDA, NBI to impose tougher penalties vs illegal parking

Based on the MMDA Anti-Jaywalking Unit’s records, there have been already over 2,000 seized violators from January 1 to February 14 this year.

“What I see there is, it is the commuters’ fault because they do not go to the bus stops, designated stops. We must remind commuters that it is also jaywalking. You’re not in a designated area. You’re already stepping on the road. You’re taking over the streets,” said Orbos. — Leslie Longboen | UNTV News and Rescue

WATCH: LTO to deputize MMDA in implementation of Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Law

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