Categories: OpinionPunchline


Sexual harassment ordinance

By Ermin Garcia Jr.


THE intent of Dagupan’s draft ordinance No.0671, penalizing men who harass women in the streets, authored by Councilor Maybelyn Fernandez, is undeniably well-meaning and timely.

With more growing teens today having no sense of good manners and right conduct, who believe that crude and rude language is acceptable, who are not aware that we have laws on acts of lasciviousness, the ordinance should make Artikulo 21 as Artikulo 22.

However, I only wish it was crafted along the lines of gender equality, that women, gays and lesbians should be made equally liable as well for the same lewd and suggestive words or acts. A quick review of language used in social media will show that young women today are no longer the coy and shy lady.  They are far more aggressive than those of the baby boomer generation. Like their male counterparts, they, too, stalk, insult, grope targeted men as well. They, too, would have no qualms insulting or humiliating men.

Then there are gays and lesbians who are subjected to the same harassment in the streets by straight guys and women, as there are gays and lesbians who stalk and harass straight men and women.

Times have certainly changed. So it makes me wonder whether this is the result of the dropping of the subject on Good Manners and Right Conduct in grade school curriculum, or is it the pervasiveness of indecent language in social media that makes today’s individuals dangerous to society.

If the draft ordinance could still be amended, the city government should make an effort to organize symposiums and lectures on the subject in all schools and colleges in the city.  The problem with organizing the same for the ordinance as drafted today, the student body will be discriminating against menfolk only, whether straight or not. When that happens, the desired impact of the ordinance on the populace would be is lost.

Will Councilor Maybelyn still be amenable to an amendment?

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RESTORE STRICT ENFORCEMENT OF ARTIKULO 21. One can’t blame Dagupan residents to be alarmed by the rash of murder cases in Dagupan City involving residents as perpetrators and victims.  This rarely happened in the past. But, indeed, the fact remains the city is generally peaceful inhabited by law-abiding residents.

The police, however, must understand that mere statements of assurances of peace and order being under control are not enough to convince skeptics who see violators of Artikulo 21 wherever they turn.

I believe the police are well aware of this because when they were ordered to strictly enforce Artikulo 21, the few days of strict enforcement were met with quiet applause from the communities in the barangays. 

Alas, since the human rights groups threatened to file cases against police officers for “unlawful” arrests, the campaign went pffft overnight.  No violators were seen or reported being accosted nor hauled away to do community service. Those whom residents thought had learned a thing or two after they were tagged for violating Artickulo 21, are again flagrantly flouting the ordinances. 

Without a doubt, many peaceful loving residents were dismayed by the suspension of the strict enforcement order. 

How about it, Mayor Belen Fernandez and Police Chief Jandale Sulit? Can you restore the “strict enforcement” of Artikulo 21 (soon Artikulo 22?) to truly allay fears of a breakdown of peace and order in the city?

And at the rate of sounding makulit, I hope someone in the city council would find merit in the proposal to require all business establishments to have CCTV cameras installed to make it difficult for criminal minds to operate in the city. 

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WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR YOUR BARANGAY? Now that life in Dagupan City is getting back a semblance of normalcy, after more than two weeks grappling with effects of the extended severe flooding in the city, I note that the ranting in social media has quieted as well.

It shouldn’t be. The engagement of the netizens in the city with city officials at the height of the flooding should continue, but this time to focus on helping the city government clear the city of flood debris and obstructions blocking waterways and reporting local causes of siltation of the city’s rivers.

Those who choose not to be involved in the city’s efforts to help keep homes and streets above flood levels shall have defaulted in their right to criticize the city government should another severe flooding occurs.

But I laud Mayor Belen and the city councilors in their efforts to fast track the installation and construction of infrastructure to mitigate impact of flooding in the city.

But the efforts to clear the city of obstructions cannot just be left with the city government. It’s time the city’s barangay officials rally their constituents to launch a bayanihan activity for the purpose of making their communities less vulnerable to severe flooding.

Some of the things they can do is to construct catch basins, akin to a fishpond, in the lowest areas in the barangays.  They can also program and assign teams to clean and clear canals that lead to city’s drainage system weekly. They can plan the installation of a rope–tagging system wherein colored ropes are tied from one point to another in usually chest-deep flooded areas that can guide residents where to walk safely or to warn residents and motorists of location of canals to avoid accidents.


To paraphrase a popular Kennedy quote: Ask not what your barangay can do for you, ask what you can do for your barangay.

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SOLAR POWER IN PANGASINAN. Many Pangasinenses are surely getting smarter than others. They who have seen the benefits and advantages of solar power are already investing in it. Latest of whom is our friend Florencio Fernandez, a balikbayan residing in Sta. Barbara.

He had a solar panel installed on his rooftop by Macspower Corp to power his household’s requirement today in the years to come. With it, he will never again be subjected to higher costs of electricity today and in the years ahead.  (Electricity costs in the country is the highest in Asia).

How does it work to have panels installed? Macspower said the size of solar panel needed is determined by discussing objectives with homeowners after measuring the available space on your rooftop. Then your desired usage and monthly savings are inputted into our present power usage based on your service provider (Decorp, Cenpelco, Panelco) monthly statement.  A recommendation will subsequently be forwarded to you.

The company also engineers and installs solar panels for other activities beside rooftop solar PV for residential and commercial buildings. It also installs solar lights for streets and gardens, solar water pump for residential and irrigation, solar for water heater and air-conditioning for residential, commercial and government buildings.

It will customize the setup, size capacity and brands depending on the property owner’s preference.

If you need help or more information, or estimate email me at  ermin323@gmail.com. I can help.

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