WAR AGAINST VANDALISM: City Hall mulls stiffer penalties against vandals

Vandals spraypaint graffiti on Iloilo Esplanade just days after its inauguration. (Photo Courtesy of Mark Suñaz)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

ILOILO CITY Mayor Jerry Treñas is mulling to increase penalties on persons who vandalize or defile public spaces in the metro.

Treñas signified his plan after a series of vandalism incidents at the Iloilo River Esplanade last week.

According to the mayor, he already instructed the City Legal Office (CLO) to study the possible increase on the penalties of those who will be caught in the act vandalizing public or private properties in the city.

Amo na ka isa ko worry kay bag-o ta lang ginubra, ginvandalize na sang mga kabataan so ginahatagaan ko gid warning, we will throw the book at you. Ang tanan ta nga ihatag nga kaso, ihatag gid naton kag in the meantime, ginpa-estudyuhan ko na da sa City Legal nga basi pataason ko ang penalties sa aton vandalism ordinance,” he said in an interview on Friday.

Treñas said he will install security cameras, particularly at the Iloilo River Esplanade and bike lanes at Benigno Aquino Avenue in Mandurriao district, to monitor and prevent vandalism from happening.

Based on the “Anti-Vandalism Act of 2009”, vandalism refers the act of writing, drawing, painting, marking or inscribing on any public property or private property any word, slogan, caricature, drawing, mark, symbol or other thing; affixing, posting up or displaying on any public property or private property any advertisement, bill or notice, without authority or the consent of the owner or occupant.

Violators of the anti-vandalism ordinance of Iloilo City face the maximum fine of P5,000 and community service.