MANILA, July 2 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines' Baguio City council has approved an ordinance that bans the use of gadgets while walking in public places like streets.
The Anti-Distracted Walking Ordinance was passed to ensure the safety of pedestrians, according to Baguio City Councilor Francis Robert Ortega in a recent media interview.
The ordinance was approved on June 24.
The use of gadgets while walking in public spaces is a great danger since it leads to unwanted tragedies, Ortega said.
It is not uncommon to see Filipinos walking and texting in Philippine streets, inviting potential accidents and even making them vulnerable to thieves.
The penalties for violating the ordinance will be a reprimand or verbal warning for a first offense, 1,000 pesos (roughly 19.55 U.S. dollars) fine for a second offense, 2,000 pesos (roughly 39 U.S. dollars) fine plus up to 10 days of community service for a third offense, and 2,500 pesos (roughly 48.88 U.S. dollars) plus 11 to 30 days of community service for a fourth offense.
The ordinance still needs the signature of Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong. If the mayor signs, the ordinance will be in effect after 15 days.
Baguio City is located some 1,600 meters above sea level, nestled within the Cordillera Central mountain range in northern Luzon. The city, north of Manila, is known for its mild climate. It is because of this that Baguio is nicknamed the "Summer Capital of the Philippines."