Low necklines and high hemlines would not be making appearances anymore in public shows in Valenzuela City if the performers are children, should the city council pass a proposed ordinance.
Costumes are among those that the ordinance wants the city government to monitor in public shows, along with show schedule, content of songs, and style of dances. A violation could land a show organizer in jail and stay there for as long as one year.
Authored by District 1 Councilor Cora Cortez, “An Ordinance Regulating the Participation of Children in Public Shows, Contests, Performances, Entertainment, Activities and the Likes,” wants to ensure that children performers are treated with decency in public shows.
The ordinance defines “child’’ as “any person below 18 years of age or those over 18 years old but are unable to [fully] take care or protect themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation or discrimination because of their physical or mental disability or condition.”
On the other hand, a public show is a “program or activity held in public” such as “pageants, dance contests, [fiestas], and singing competitions”. Those organized by schools and religious groups, however, are exempt from the ordinance.
Author councilor Cora Cortez says in the explanatory note that, “[There] are reports that children who participates in these public shows: 1. [are] forced to wear clothes inappropriate for their age; 2. are allowed to sing materials with censored lyrics; 3. perform acts with sensual hints; 4. become center of ridicule for adult’s humor; and 5.coerced to dance with dangerous stunts.”
Under the ordinance, a show organizer, before holding the show, would need to secure a barangay permit and the consent of the child’s parent or guardian. The show organizer should also orient the child and the parents about the nature of the show.
Performances by children are prohibited between 9:30 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
Violation of these provisions on permits and schedule would mean a fine of Php1,000 for the first offense; either Php3,000 or imprisonment for one month or a both for the second offense; and either Php5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding six months or both for the third offense and subsequent ones.
Sanctions will also be meted out to organizers who allow children to wear lewd costumes and pushes through with the performances without stocking on safety accessories, such as nipple patches and undershirts, in case of “wardrobe malfunction,” or accidental undressing in the middle of a performance.
The child should not perform songs and skits with obscene content, as well as sexually suggestive dances. Acts should also not put the child in danger, make him or her object of ridicule, and degrade his or her dignity.
Event organizers who would tolerate such costume and performance prohibitions would either be fined with as much as Php5,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both, depending on the discretion of the court.