Alderman mulls ban of airsoft games in city parks

Apr 1, 2017

Concerned with safety issues in the conduct of airsoft games in the City of Baguio, City Councilor Faustino Olowan has filed with the city council a proposed measure to ban airsoft games and related activities in all parks of the city.

In his proposal Councilor Olowan posited the view that parks should be a peaceful environment for those seeking retreat and relaxation and also recreational activities for the general public where tourists, visitors as well as the constituency of the city flock and thus generally teeming with people. The proposed resolution also noted that there have been several previous incidents of physical injuries resulting from fired pellets by participants of airsoft activities done in some open spaces particularly those held in parks and conducted by airsoft game organizers.

With this concern and to promote the general safety and welfare of those using the parks in the city Councilor Olowan is seeking to ban airsoft games and related activities in all parks in the City.

Airsoft is a physical sport where participants eliminate their opponents by hitting each other with spherical non-metallic pellets launched and fired via replica weapons called airsoft guns. Airsoft guns use compressed air to shoot pellets which can cause injury and can be easily mistaken for real guns that may pose potentially deadly consequences.

Relative to this, the proposed measure introduced by councilor Olowan is related to a letter from the Onjon ni Ivadoy Association Inc. sent to the City Mayor through the CEPMO Officer Ms. Cordelia Lacsamana which previously sought the cancellation of a permit issued to an airsoft club in the city for the use of the Ibaloi Heritage Park for their airsoft activities, as well as the transfer of the venue to a much more safer and secluded place.

In the said letter of the Onjon ni Ivadoy Association it was noted that countries such as Australia, China and Israel have banned the said sport due to the observation that the airsoft guns are considered dangerous toys and it raises many safety issues. It was also observed by the said association that while airsoft games are allowed to be played in some countries these are held in private places or underground instead of the open spaces of parks.

The Onjon ni Ivadoy further stressed in their letter that the Ibaloi Heritage Park has been proclaimed by the Ibaloi ICC/IP as a sacred ground where traditional rituals are performed in honor of dead ancestors, and that as such activities that portray the semblance of war or the shooting of one another does not sit well with the sacredness of the place.

Relative to this, City Councilor Peter Fianza also wrote the Vice Mayor and Presiding Officer Hon. Edison Bilog to request for the conduct of a legislative inquiry in connection with the conduct of airsoft games and activities in the city. Fianza noted that the number of airsoft enthusiasts in the city is growing and the locality is becoming a favourite venue for such kind of activities, as well as the fact that there is a need to address certain concerns raised by affected residents relative to the conduct of such games and activities.

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