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Rescuing street children

05:01 AM August 22, 2017

It is common to see Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) personnel and other law enforcers man and supervise traffic especially in areas where there are frequent buildups.

I suggest that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), like the MMDA, also deploy personnel in these busy areas where street children clamber up jeepneys to beg.

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I have witnessed children and teenagers tapping windows or squeezing themselves between vehicles during traffic jams to beg for money or food, unmindful of the risk to their life and limb. Worse, some of them hold a piece of cloth or plastic soaked with solvent against their noses or mouth while wiping shoes of jeepney passengers. Some even hand out solicitation envelopes.
In the past, the public was urged to report to the DSWD, through Twitter, any sightings of street children so that social workers can be deployed to rescue them. This is in line with the DSWD’s “Report a Street Child in Metro Manila Program.” However, not all are using Twitter and the public seldom has time to make a report to the DSWD.

It is high time that social workers regularly be assigned to areas where street
children abound. A visible group of two or three social workers in tandem with local police or barangay tanod on busy streets will be the most effective way to rescue street children and take them into the DSWD’s custody.

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REGINALD B. TAMAYO, assistant city council secretary, Marikina City

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TAGS: DSWD, Inquirer letters, MDDA, Reginald B. Tamayo, street children
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