What would summer be without those multi-colored kites made of bamboo, paper and plastic adorning the skies? Like the seasonal children’s games of tops, spider-fighting, rubber bands, and assorted native games like tubig-tubig, biko, siatong, and bato-lata, these allow children to have quality time with each other and keep them from harm’s way. Basically.

When there were fewer people in Cebu and there were more open spaces, nobody really minded kids and adults flying kites. But injuries and even deaths have occurred because people’s kites got entangled in electric wires.

Mark, a 14-year-old who practices the Filipino martial art of Yaw-Yan, also loves flying kites. He said it’s fun. Mark experienced having his kite entangled in electric wires. Asked if he tried to get his kite back, he said, “No I didn’t. I knew that I could get electric shock.”

Ian, on the other hand, says he used to fly kites and once got a jolt of electricity as his kite string brushed the electric wires while his hands were sweaty. Ian still lives in Sikatuna St. in Cebu City where you couldn’t find an open space of 3,000 square meters. He used to stand on rooftops to do his kite-flying.

In Cebu City, City Ordinance 1471 prohibits the flying of kites in open spaces less than 3,000 square meters and only if there are no electric or telephone poles in the vicinity. Unless supervised by an adult, children less than 12 years old cannot fly kites. Violators shall either pay a minimum of P200 or be imprisoned for five days or suffer both.

The best thing to do is to be vigilant. Everyone should get involved. Stop people from flying kites if the dangers are clear. If it is necessary to alert the authorities to save people’s lives, do so.

Summer might be less fun if fewer kites fly in the city skies. But there is not much fun either in getting hurt because you ignored practical rules. (PR)

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