Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has directed the City Council to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on the suicide incident at a mall last Saturday.
Belmonte said Councilors Irene Belmonte, Lala Sotto and PM Vargas, chairpersons of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology, Committee on Health and Committee on Infrastructure, respectively, will spearhead the probe.
This is the second recorded case of adolescent suicide inside a mall in the City. A senior high school student allegedly took his life in SM City, North Edsa last October 5 by jumping from the 5th floor of the mall’s annex.
The Mayor said the investigation would focus on mental health issues among the youth and find means on how to address these.
The hearing also intends to craft policy and guidelines to prevent similar incidents from happening anew.
“This includes the creation of crisis intervention units on-site to assist establishments in dealing with these types of situations,” said Belmonte.
“Sisilipin din ang setup ng mga mall at building at kung paano magpapatupad ng mahigpit na seguridad upang hindi na maulit pa ang ganitong insidente,” she added.
Aside from mall officials, the inquiry will also invite school authorities and experts to get insights on addressing adolescent mental health issues.
At the same time, Belmonte instructed the City Health Department to ensure that the necessary steps are underway to fully implement the city’s Ordinance No. SP-2456 S-2015, which provides for a community-based mental health program and delivery system.
Meanwhile, Belmonte called on the public not to share the supposed video of the incident, saying they should be sensitive to the plight of the family of the victim.
“Huwag na po nating dagdagan ang sakit na nararamdaman ng pamilya ng biktima. Sa halip, tumulong tayo na mapigil ang pagkalat ng video sa social media sa pamamagitan ng pagre-report sa mga site na nagpapalabas nito,” said Belmonte.
The victim, a 15-year-old Grade 9 student, entered Trinoma Mall around 1:27 p.m. on Saturday with some friends. He last talked to his mother around 5:45 p.m.
According to his friends, they were separated from victim, who went to the 7th floor of the mall’s parking building and took his life around 5:55 p.m.
The victim was described by his class adviser as a responsible student and wanted to make his parents proud.