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QC launches PH’s 1st mobile app on city ordinances

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To reduce the high record of ordinance violations, the Quezon City Council, led by Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, on Tuesday launched the “Batas QC”, the country’s first mobile application on local ordinances, to spread awareness about the rules and penalties concerning local laws.

“This is the first user-friendly, city-based database that everyone can easily access, and it aims to counter ordinance violations by educating residents on the penalties they will be incurring,” Belmonte said during the app’s launching at the Quezon City Hall.

“Lack of awareness on fines and offenses will no longer be an excuse,” Belmonte added.

Records from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) showed that from June 13 to Nov. 2, 2018, the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) apprehended the highest number of ordinance violators at 262,847, which is 58.4 percent of all the arrests made for ordinance penalties in Metro Manila.

Belmonte said the high number of apprehensions has led the local government to implement Ordinance 2752-2018, which mandates law enforcers to issue ordinance violation receipts (OVR) instead of jailing ordinance violators in the city.

With an OVR, the violator can pay a fine within five days at the barangay hall or Quezon City Hall for offenses such as drinking, being half-naked and smoking in public places.

Belmonte noted that the launching of the app is “timely” since it will help residents understand ordinances as the OVR system is rolled out.

“One objective of the OVR is to mitigate the congestion in jails and detention centers, but we want to go one step further through ‘Batas QC’ by helping residents know our ordinances, so they will not have to violate the laws in the first place,” she said.

She added that aside from the city’s priority to maintain peace and order by reducing ordinance violators, “Batas QC” aims to educate residents about ordinances concerning roads, transportation, garbage, healthcare and other issues.

“Many of our residents bring up concerns that are already being tackled by existing ordinances, pero dahil hindi pa nila alam, hindi silanakakasunod sa batas o nagbebenepisyo sa mga serbisyong nandiyan na (but because they still don’t know, they are not following the law or benefitting from the services that are already there),” Belmonte said.

During the launch, Belmonte demonstrated the use of the mobile app which contains all city ordinances, announcements and search functions that categorize ordinances based on their topic.

The app, which is downloadable through the Google Playstore, can be used even when offline.

Copies of the ordinance are also downloadable through the app.

To ensure law enforcers will also have access to the app, gadgets containing the “Batas QC” were symbolically turned over to the QCPD, Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS), and Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD) during the launch.

Also present during the event were City Council Majority Floor Leader Franz Pumaren, QCPD Director Chief Supt. Joselito Esquivel Jr., Liga ng mga Barangay President Alfredo Roxas, DPOS head Elmo San Diego and EPWMD head Frederiko Rentoy.

“Batas QC” was developed by Thinc Office Corporation which also created MyLegalWhiz, the pioneering online legal resource in the Philippines. (PNA)