By Jennifer P. Rendon
The Dinagyang Festival 2023 is not an excuse for minors to roam the metropolis in the wee hours of the night.
In fact, police will be more stringent in running after minors who are still on the streets beyond 10 p.m. and before 4 a.m.
Captain Julieta Sequio, Site Task Group Dinagyang Festival 2023 spokesperson, said that the police will strictly enforce Regulation Ordinance No. 2022-279.
“The ordinance was not lifted. So, we have to enforce it,” Sequio said.
Just like in previous editions, minors are allowed to watch and participate in Dinagyang-related and other socio-civic activities, as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Also exempted from the ordinance is if a “minor is on his/her way home after attending an educational program, religious and family affairs or gatherings and other similar activities.”
Starting last week, a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) composed of the Iloilo City’s City Social and Development Office (CSWDO) and Task Force Moral Values Formation (TFMVF) and the Iloilo City Police Office-Women and Children’s Protection Desk, has been rounding the metropolis to enforce the ordinance.
Sequio said all minors who will be caught violating the ordinance, including commercial sex workers who will be “reached out”, will be turned over to the MDT.
A holding center has been set up per district for minors and commercial sex workers who will be apprehended.
But Sequio pointed out that there would be separate holding areas for minors and sex workers.
“We also call on the parents to guard their children and not allow them to roam without their presence,” she said.