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Opinion Sideglance

Creation of anti-obscenity council mulled

Expressing the need to uphold morality and protect the youth from moral corruption and values degradation City Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr. has filed a proposed legislative measure that would regulate the proliferation of sexually offensive, expletive or obscene materials in the City of Baguio through the establishment of a Baguio City Anti-Obscenity Council.”

In his proposal councilor Yangot observed that despite prevailing laws that either limit or prohibit the distribution and display of vulgar, obscene and profane materials in public, there is still the risk and danger of children and minors being affected by such influences particularly if they are inadvertently exposed to it. The proposal also cited studies which show that “minors are not only affected by a very strong sense of curiosity towards sex but they are also easily exposed and misinformed on the subject. Often, minors are unable to resist and protect themselves from the ill effects of obscene materials.”

Councilor Yangot then bared that the selling and distribution of filth and smut pictures and stories, considered as pornographic, still occurs here in the locality and is alarmingly affecting the education population of the city. Likewise he further noted that there has also been a rise in crime here in the city involving teens and offenses based on hate, sexual harassment and bullying.

The alderman then emphasized in his proposed Ordinance that “exposure to smut or obscene materials can jeopardize studies for the youth, work for adults, as well as relationships and interests in health endeavors because its patrons get addicted. In the long run, addiction to obscenity will entail the same difficult recovery process as that of drug convicts”, and thus the need for the creation of the Anti-Obscenity Council for the city to fulfill its role in protecting the best interests and welfare of the citizenry.

Under the proposal, the Anti-Obscenity that will be created shall be led by the City Mayor as the Chairperson, the Chairman of the City Council Committee on Public Protection, Safety, Peace and Order as co-chairperson and action officer and with the following members: (a) City Legal Officer, (b) City Director, Baguio City Police Office, (c) the City Social Welfare Officer, (d) the Head of the City Schools Division, (e) a representative from the private sector, (f) a representative from the Creative Arts Council, and (g) a representative from the Press.

It shall be the powers and functions of the said council to recommend legislative and administrative measures as well as cause the prosecution against violators of anti-obscenity laws on behalf of the city of Baguio relative to the trafficking of obscene materials without interfering with the constitutional rights, to study and report on problems pertinent to obscenity controls, to study and report on trafficking and distribution of obscene and pornographic materials, to study and report on the effects of such materials on the public especially the youth, and their relationship to crime and other antisocial conduct and to exercise other powers and functions incidental or necessary to the attainment of the purposes and objective of the said ordinance.

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