Friday, August 19, 2011

Philippine Officials to Regulate Computer Rental Shops in Tublay

Philippine PoliceSometimes I think we take the freedoms we have in this country for granted. For instance, we have the freedom to rent computers and other pieces of technology without oppressive regulation from government officials. However, this isn't always the case in other countries.

Officials in Tublay, Benguet, located in the Philippines, have recently enacted Ordinance No. 2011-08, which regulates the operation of computer rental shops, cyber cafes or internet access studios as well as other similar establishments in the city. Ordinance 2011-08 was passed on second at the provincial board.

In the explanatory note of the ordinance, the officials believe that there is a need to regulate the operations of computer shops and similar establishments due to vulnerability of minors and students to skip class due to access to these technologies. The ordinance prohibits owners and operators of computer rental businesses and other similar establishments from accepting students and minors in their stores during school hours and non-school hours.

However, there are exemptions to the rule. Renting to minors or students is allowed during school hours if a student is in need of a computer to do a school project, do research or any other academic activity. The student must have a written authorization from their teacher, instructor, school principal or other responsible official from their school in order to do so, however.

The ordinance also prohibits the access of pornographic, aggressive, violent or other related material. In addition to that, it also requires establishments to install and maintain anti-obscenity filtering software in order to block sites that would contain this type of material. It also requires the use of a logbook for students containing relevant information.

From here, it just goes off the deep end. The ordinance further requires that shops and stores be located at least 100 meters away from any schools and requires the posting of a sign at the entrance disallowing minors and students during regular school hours and noon breaks.

However, the measure does have the comforts of people in mind as well. The ordinance also requires that stores have good ventilation of the area in conformity with the provision of Presidential Decree 1096, also known as the National Building Code and the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers. Also, the space between each computer should be no less than one meter.

All I can say is that I am fortunate to live in a country where extreme regulations like this have no chance of being passed.

Source: Philippine Information Agency - Tublay officials regulate operation of computer rental shops

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