House panel oks creation of crime prevention committee in schools

THE House Committee on Higher and Technical Education (CHTE) approved on Wednesday a bill that seeks to mandate educational institutions to ensure campus safety by establishing safety and security measures that would protect their students and employees from physical violence.

The Committee passed House Bill (HB) 6479, or the “Campus Safety Act,” directing all colleges and universities to create a Crime Prevention Committee that will come up with strategies on campus law enforcement.

“We recognize that each school has to formulate its own policy considering the different threats that their respective school communities are facing,” explained Aurora Representative Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, the bill’s principal author and CHTE Chairman.

“For some schools, they even have to secure their campuses against rebels,” disclosed Angara, fully and personally attesting to this, having visited most of the state colleges and universities throughout the country in past years.

Angara pointed out that the spate of violence inside school campuses reported in the media over the last 12 months compelled the committee to fast track the immediate endorsement of the bill to the plenary.

“Do we need another stabbing or even killing incident for us to finally do something about this?” he asked.

According to the veteran lawmaker, parents shall be given access to information about the school’s crime statistics, as well as, crime prevention plans of the schools to be able to guide them and help them decide to which school will they be sending their children.

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