Davao fines erring Internet cafes
by Prix D Banzon
Davao City (11 March) -- Several internet cafes operating in Davao City were slapped with fine after the business bureau caught these cafes allowing school children play on line games during school hours.
Atty Johpee Agustin, Davao City business bureau chief said they had intensified their monitoring and went on full operation last month
About 400 internet cafes are operating in Davao City and several of them were charged as first time offender with a fine of P1,000. The second time offenders were meted with a P2,000 fine.
Third time violators she said will be imposed with P5,000 fine plus closure of the establishment.
Agustin also said that they continue to monitor internet cafes operating without permits. These establishments she said need to get accreditation with the Internet Café Accreditation Board (Icab).
Close to 50 percent of internet cafes operating here are not yet accredited by Icab.
Davao City Ordinance No. 0227-04 prohibits operating internet café without business permit or license. Although the law allows students however to surf or source out data or information for educational purposes in cafes during prescribed class hours, these children are prohibited to play online games.
Agustin also said that their monitoring is also done during night time to check whether these establishments are used by internet café users on pornography.
Included in what they also monitor is the café's lighting, web cams, and whether there are still cubicles in the place. "The cubicles are not allowed in internet cafes to prevent users on exploring net on pornographic materials," she said. (PIA) [top]