BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance prohibiting any activity that will create any kind of pollution that will affect any school activity and providing penalties for violation thereof.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. declared all schools in the city as pollution-free areas and that it shall be unlawful for any person to engage in any activity that will create any kind of pollution that will directly or indirectly affect school surroundings and the academic community or disrupt school activities, including but not limited to activities that will create noise, bad or foul odor or smoke.
In the case of construction activities that create noise, the local legislative measure stipulated such activities shall be undertaken only when there are no more school activities in the vicinity.
Under the proposal, any natural or juridical person found to have violated the measure shall be penalized by a fine of P5,000 or imprisonment of not more than 60 days or both upon the discretion of the competent court.
Yangot pointed out exposing students to environmental pollutants during important times of physiological development can lead to long-lasting health problems, dysfunction, and illness.
According to him, studies show that any activity that creates pollution around schools jeopardizes children’s health and academic success.
Further, he added schools located in areas with high pollution levels had the lowest attendance rates, a potential indicator of poor health and the highest proportions of students who failed to meet State educational standards.
Yangot argued a pollution-free environment will allow students to feel comfortable, safe and engaged which something that all students deserve for them to effectively and efficiently concentrate on their studies.
“In a learning environment where values and roles remain a constant and focus is placed on the positive aspects of learning, students will be more open to actively participate in class.,” Yangot stressed.
In the city, Yangot claimed it is necessary that all schools are declared pollution-free in order to maintain and preserve an environment suitable for education, hence, the pendency of the proposed ordinance.
Section 16 of Republic Act (RA) 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of the Philippines provides that every local government unit shall exercise the power expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and those as essential to the promotion of the general welfare of the populace.
By Dexter A. See