Cebu News

Solutions sought for parents of “bad kids”

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Aside from penalizing the parents of minors who are into illegal activities, including those boys who sniffed industrial glue in a jeepney, Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama said the city has to innovate to address this issue.

He challenges concerned departments to think of out-of-the-box solutions to deal with troublesome minors, including determining their place of origin so they can be returned to their hometown.

“These kids have parents… Where are they? Kon gikan sa laing lugar, e-uli, kon gikan sa probinsya, atong ihatud ba kaha sa Kapitolyo… Kung diri, sa barangay, ari nato… Dili ta mulihay ana,” he said.

The city’s Social Welfare Services head Portia Basmayor said that as far as those rugby boys are concerned, they have already rescued two and brought them to the shelter, had them checked with the city health personnel, and spoken to their parents.

DSWS is also coordinating with local authorities to monitor an area where rugby boys hang out.

Aside from the rugby boys, the DSWS and other concerned departments also continue to work on addressing street dwellers.

Basmayor said, they have sent several street dwellers, including minors, home in the past, but still they return to Cebu City after a while.

City legal officer Carlo Gimena said in a separate interview that they will meet with the anti-mendicancy board and other concerned departments to look into this matter, including mulling legal action against parents for negligence.

“From a legal point of view, under the Family Code they are supposed to take care of their children, afford support for their children... In case of negligence, they should be liable… Again, it is incumbent upon to the parents to support their children, not allow them to be rugby boys,” she said.

But Rama said penalizing parents is not the sole solution to this.

“Penalized? We don’t even have enough space for jail… You are not solving, you are only aggravating… So there should be an innovation, out-of-the-box solutions,” he said.

He also said the city should improve economically.

“Make the city rich! When the city is rich, there will be less poverty… When you reduce poverty, many will now be spending for comfort, many will man to protect the tranquility of the family,” he said. — (FREEMAN)

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