“WE MUST act immediately or it might be too late,” stressed Councilor Adrian L. Barba, chair of the City Council committee on education, as he called for measures to stop the operation of illegally-operating internet cafes and the pisonet machines, which cater to school children.
At the regular session presided over by Vice Mayor Caesar Ian E. Acenas, the councilor said time is of the essence as he cited the harm this is causing among pupils and young students.
The education committee has been receiving complaints from parents about their children, who are distracted from school due to the proliferation of internet cafes that do not comply with the law.
The operation of internet cafes is governed by an ordinance prohibiting the management from allowing students to enter during class hours. Internet cafes should also comply with the 200- linear meter prohibition.
It may be recalled that the education committee conducted inspections of computer stations near schools months ago in response to the many complaints received.
The councilor said the City Treasurer’s Office has copies of establishments operating internet cafes and proposed that computers operating without permits be closed immediately.
He said not one of establishments having pisonet machines have necessary permits. “Look for pisonet with permits .. wala!” he added.
Councilor Barba said while he is glad that the Regulatory and Complaint Board is acting on this, he is hoping that the drive will be sustained.
Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr., who is one of the members of the RCB assured that inspection of internet cafes will take place to ensure compliance to city laws.
Lao proposed the enactment of an ordinance prohibiting pisonets. He also suggested that the ordinance governing internet cafes be revisited to clarify the 200-linear meter prohibition.