DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Four new ordinances under the Committee on Peace and Public Safety have been proposed to the 18th City Council of Davao this month.
First in the list is Councilor Maria Belen Sunga- Acosta’s ordinances on the proposal of an Ordinance Regulating Unmanned Aerial Vehicles meant to monitor and regulate the use of drones, with penalties on violations.
Acosta said drones can be used for harmful activities such as invading a person’s right to privacy by spying or stalking. It can also be used for malicious activities, such as the attempted assassination of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro last August 4, 2018. It can also be used to monitor the activities of the Armed Forces and other related possible cases.
She added that Mayor Sara mentioned the need for drone flights regulation in the city during a meeting last December 19, 2018.
Acosta also proposed an Ordinance Prohibiting the Release of Balloons and Sky Lanterns in the City to address both environment and public safety concerns in the release of such objects in the air.
The ordinance was crafted after a well-known hotel in Manila planned to drop 130,000 balloons as part of its New Year’s Eve countdown targeted to set a new world record.
Acosta now eyes the local registration of drones and the installation of a body to monitor drone activity and their selling as part of the resolution.
Though there is a concern about sky lanterns that are also used for Chinese festivities, Acosta clarified that public safety should always be the priority.
“This wasteful and hazardous practice is also present in the release of sky lanterns, or paper lanterns which expand and soar into the air. Not only are these sky lantern releases an act of littering, but they pose a harmful risk of igniting a fire when they land on trees, bushes or even houses,” said Acosta.
Environmental group Interface Development Interventions (IDIS) of Davao City commended the ordinance saying that it will be the first in the country to ban the release of balloons and sky lanterns as these have a negative impact on the environment.
IDIS Executive Director Chinkie Peliño-Golle told media in an interview that they were happily surprised to know that Acosta has already filed the ordinance. Golle said IDIS and its partner Ecowaste coalition registered their opposition to Cove Manila and the Okada Manila’s balloon dropping plan.
“We learned about the activity 2 days before it was supposed to happen. We know that it’s impossible but we reached out to Mayor Inday Sara who facilitated us to talk to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu. So with the effort, the activity was prevented and we hope it will be the same in Davao City too” said Golle.
Another proposal is the passage of an ordinance requiring heavy trucks, buses, and vans to install a dashboard camera to capture car accidents and aid legal disputes in traffic-related issues. It also aims to record improper road behavior of abusive and reckless drivers on the road.
In the 13,709 vehicular accidents that occurred from January to November 2018, Acosta said the most serious injuries and fatalities most often occur in accidents involving vehicles such as trucks, buses and vans due to their weight, speed, and a number of passengers.
“Both the drone and dashcam ordinances were raised by Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in a talk. This is for the public safety” said Acosta.
As the chairperson of the Committee on Special Publications, Acosta also filed a proposed Ordinance to amend the Davao City Code of Ordinances “to help inform the public of the policies of the city” and reflect the changes and amendments to the ordinances already enacted.
It was in the year 2009 when the city last published a comprehensive code of ordinances.(davaotoday.com)