Regulation for Internet Cafes in the city pushed

Feb 25, 2017

In a bid to further strengthen measures aimed at providing protection for the youth City Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr. has filed a piece of legislation that would regulate the operation of internet cafes in the City of Baguio, providing for penalties for its violation and creating an internet café accreditation Board for the purpose.

As explained in the proposed measure the proliferation of internet cafes operating within the City of Baguio has become one of the primordial concerns that affect the youth of the city. And it has been noted both by concerned parents as well as educational institutions that there have been numerous incidents where students avoid their classes just to be in internet cafes for the purpose of either playing online computer games, chatting or surfing various internet sites that are inappropriate for minors to access.

The proposed regulatory measure provides for guidelines in the operation of an internet café which the following among others: (a) xxx; (b) xxx; (c) Internet café establishments shall not allow minor students to stray in the premises of the establishment during their class hours unless for specific educational or study purposes such as data research or statistical gathering duly authorized by the teacher and approved by their principal or a school head, requiring the students to wear their school uniforms or identification cards for easy identification; (d) Internet cafes shall not offer online and network gaming services during class hours to students and/or minors; (e) Prohibited drugs, intoxicating beverages, selling of cigarettes, and smoking area strictly prohibited inside Internet cafes; (f) Selling of food and drinks are allowed only when the Internet Café establishments has declared in their original permit or license to operate such business indicating the selling of foods and drinks; (g) Internet café shall not allow computer hacker nor case computer hacking to be practiced in their premises; (h) Internet Café establishments must pose in a conspicuous and visible area within the establishment a warning sign against accessing pornography and playing games by students during school hours; (i) xxx; (j) Internet Café establishments offering a combination of services such as research games shall either provide headphones for every unit being used for gaming or reduce the volume of the gaming unit so as to prevent excessive sound that could disturb other users. Internet Café establishments may play music at a moderate volume; (k) Internet Café establishments must provide for a means of downloading/saving information from the internet by the user; (l)Operator of Internet cafes should strictly observe curfew hours for minors and out-of-school youth pursuant to the curfew ordinance of the city except when these minors or out-of-school youth (OSY) are accompanied by their parents, guardians, or any adult known to the minor; (m) Internet café establishments must not use fully enclosed cubicles for every computer unit. Only half-closed cubicles shall be allowed, the specifications of which will be provided by the Board; (n) Internet cafes offering the use of web cameras or web cams must not allow its users to use it for obscenity and lewd designs; (o) Internet café establishments shall be maintained under good sanitary conditions; (p) Internet café establishments should not tolerate or promote indecent, lewd and immoral behaviour inside the establishment; and (q) Internet café establishments shall provide roving personnel to monitor its user’s behaviour to maintain decency inside the internet café.”

For violations of the said proposed regulatory ordinance a fine of three thousand pesos shall be imposed for the first offense while a fine of five thousand pesos is imposed for the second offense and finally, the revocation and non-renewal of the business permit for the third offense as well as forfeiture of computer units for violations under Section 9 paragraph 6 of the said proposed measure pertaining to the use of the internet facilities for fraud and deceit whether sexual or business in nature, promotion of indecent and immoral behaviour, sourcing or depictions of pornographic materials as well as confidential websites protected by the government, and gambling and other criminal activities.

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