If there's one thing that motorists should look out for when traveling along expressways, it's the danger of debris. And we're not just talking about debris you can drive over, but projectiles intentionally hurled towards cars. Yes there are those that deliberately throw stones or other objects on vehicles along expressways as a form of amusement.
To counter this type of unruly behavior, the local government of Floridablanca, Pampanga issued Municipal Ordinance No. 120 or the “Floridablanca Anti-Stoning Ordinance”. This is the municipality's response to several instances of rock throwing on the stretch of Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) that falls within their boundaries.
“Our LGU recognizes the adverse effects and gravity of stoning incidents, and these require a more compelling legislation to avert potential accidents and prevent minors from endangering themselves or others,” said Darwin Manalansan, Mayor of Floridablanca.
Legislation has been filed in the House of Representatives regarding these acts at the national level, but the last time we checked there doesnt seem to be any progress yet. So the Municipality of Floridablanca is acting on their own accord by approving an ordinance on the matter.
Those found violating the municipal ordinance will be faced with 3-day community service for the first offense. A penalty of PHP 1,500 and/or a five-day community service await second-time offenders. For the third offense, violators will be fined PHP 2,500 and/or 10-day community service. For minors, the barangay shall require the minor and his/her parents/guardians to undertake community service. These are without prejudice to any claim for damages and to any case that will be filed against the violators.
Aside from stoning, the municipal ordinance also prohibits other acts which include climbing the fence/wall of SCTEX; and wandering, roaming, meandering near SCTEX fence/overpass without any legitimate purpose for a long period of time.
Under the ordinance, the barangays within Floridablanca shall strengthen the implementation of their security system to prevent "stoning" activities. In addition, they will also educate the communities on the dangers of engaging in unnecessary activities near the expressway, conduct seminars and programs on responsible parenting, and coordinate operations and programs with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and SCTEX.
With the local government of Floridablanca acting on this type of behavior, perhaps it will deter individuals from engaging in such activities. More importantly, this might actually influence other LGUs in establishing up their own “anti-stoning” ordinances.