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Benguet plans to regulate ownership, operation of drones

The Provincial Board here plans to regulate ownership and operation of unmanned aerial vehicles or popularly known as drones.

Board Member Fernando Balaoadan Sr., the ordinance proponent, said the measure aims to safeguard, protect and preserve the safety and rights of the public aside from preventing any member of the public from being angered or annoyed due to the risks posed by drones to persons and to properties.

“Drones present an unreasonable and unacceptable threat to public safety in the air and to persons and property on the ground in the Province of Benguet due to limitations in drone ‘vision’ and capability to avoid other aircraft and adequate control,” Balaodan further wrote in the proposed ordinance states. The proposed measure defined some prohibitions, requirements and limits in owning a drone.

Some provisions in the regulatory measure include no person shall operate a drone – unless he/she is at least 18 years of age or at least 14 years of age and under the supervision of his/her parents; no person shall operate more than one drone at a time; no person shall operate a drone within the vicinity of or over national or local government offices or public institutions; no person shall operate a drone while under the influence of liquor or alcohol or while using drugs that impair the person’s faculties, among others.

Balaodan said that upon approval, a violator shall be meted a penalty of cancellation of permits, confiscation of the drone and imprisonment of not exceeding one year and fine not exceeding PHP5,000,or both.

Primo Agatep/ PNA