The Department of the Interior and Local Government strongly condemns the vandalism on the walls of the Lagusnilad underpass in the City of Manila and urges local government units (LGUs) to strictly enforce their respective ordinances against vandalism in line with the #DisiplinaMuna campaign of the Department.
“Nakakahiya ang ginawang pambababoy sa Lagusnilad pagkatapos itong linisin at ayusin ng Manila City Government. LGUs should, therefore, see to it that they strictly enforce their laws on vandalism so that vandals will face the consequences of their actions,” DILG Spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan E. Malaya, says.
He enjoins LGUs to revisit and ensure the implementation of their ordinances sanctioning vandalism and to make use of their closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in identifying and catching vandals. He also urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to apprehend those found violating laws and ordinances.
Malaya says that vandalism is a form of malicious mischief under Article 327 of the Revised Penal Code that includes the act of causing damage to a property or any other thing used in common by the public.
He cites Marikina City that has few cases of vandalism because of its effective anti-vandalism drive in their locality and their ordinance that fines violators. The Marikina City Police reports only three people apprehended for violation in 2018.
He points out that there are many ways of expressing our views on social concerns and that should not include dirtying up public places or properties.
“While we respect the rights of these organizations to express their views and opinion, that right is not absolute. Ang karapatan ay may hangganan at kaakibat na responsibilidad. ‘Di na nga kayo nakatulong, ‘wag na sanang mamerwisyo pa ng iba,” he says.
“With the advent of social media, vandalisms like this have directed attention to the obnoxiousness of their method rather than the meaning of their message,” he adds.
He urges these organizations to instead focus their energies to cleaning up their barangay, Manila Bay Clean Up, anti-smoking campaign and other worthwhile activities rather than doing vandalism that actually helps no one.
Malaya laments that the government builds, repairs, and does reforms but there are some who willfully and maliciously cause destruction. “Disiplina muna bago po tayo magreklamo at magprotesta. Ang pagbabago’y nagsisimula sa sarili,” he says.
The DILG is urging all LGUs, through DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2019-181, to promote the #DisiplinaMuna national advocacy campaign that aims to re-build the culture of discipline among Filipinos, especially the youth, as a means of fostering people’s participation which is one of the tenets of good governance.
The said campaign has been recently launched by the DILG together with the City Government of Manila. The campaign aims to increase the consciousness among Filipinos of their critical role and responsibility in sustainable development and maintenance of law and order as a shared responsibility.
Among the Disiplina Muna Ambassadors are Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Coast Guard Auxiliary Lt. Cmdr. Diether Ocampo, Army 2nd Lt. Matteo Guidicelli, journalist and road safety advocate James Deakin, and journalist Jiggy Manicad.
Malaya says that the Disiplina Muna campaign is initiated only by the Department but is “open source’ and may be adopted by all organizations and is a whole-of-nation effort across the national and local governments, private sector, civil society, and the media.
“#DisiplinaMuna. #ChangeStartsWithMe. Change cannot be realized by the government alone. Tulad na lang ng bandalismo. Hindi biro ang pagpapapintura at pagsasaayos ng mga public walls and properties. Samantalang sa ilang segundo lamang ay napakadali ang pagsira nito ng mga nagbabandalismo. Sayang ang pondong puwede sanang ilaan sa iba pang proyektong makapagpapabuti sa buhay ng nakakarami,” he says.