By Aldwin Quitasol
BAGUIO CITY ? Members of the Baguio City council have approved on first reading a proposed ordinance aimed at regulating the ownership and operation of drones in the city.
Baguio City councilor Leandro B. Yangot Jr., the author of the ordinance, said the proposed legislation aims to mitigate the potential safety risks posed by drones to people and properties in the city.
Under the measure, a person can only own one drone at a time. He or she should also operate the drone at a distance of not more than 500 meters from his or her location.
In addition, the drone cannot also transport or carry on board a living creature. The owner is not allowed to fly the drone while under the influence of liquor or alcohol or while using any drug that may impair his or faculties. The ordinance also forbids any person from operating a drone within the vicinity or over national government offices.
The ordinance, however, gives the city mayor the power to exempt any person from the application of the provisions of the measure as long as the exemption is endowed with public interest and is not likely to adversely affect public safety.
The Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) is also mandated to conduct an enforcement campaign in areas where reports of drone incidents are at the highest frequency.
The penalties for violation of the ordinance is imprisonment of not less than one week but not more than one month or a fine of not less than P1,000 but not more than P5,000, or both, upon the discretion of the court.