EDITORIAL - We can’t be like Singapore with all the street dwellers

The Freeman
EDITORIAL - We can�t be like Singapore with all the street dwellers

Everybody who lives in Cebu City knows by now that Mayor Michael Rama is pushing for the city to become like Singapore. This is a tall order but not entirely impossible, though we may have a long way to go before that happens.

We are sure the mayor realizes that such a transformation will be more than just cosmetic. It’s not just a matter of making things and places around the city more beautiful to look at; it’s more of a matter of changing people’s basic attitudes when it to cleanliness, worth ethic, and discipline

One particular challenge we see Cebu City will face in such a push is dealing with street dwellers, street kids, mendicants, and practically anyone who should be either at work, at home, or at school but isn’t for one reason or another.

Because it is a highly-urbanized city, Cebu City sees its fair share of people coming in from the other places hoping to make a living. It doesn’t always work out, and mostly that’s the reason why we have street dwellers, street kids, even the occasional psychotic vagrant roaming around totally naked.

Development will always bring with it some degree of squalor, and we can always expect that those who don’t always make the cut that life as well as society sets have no choice but to beg in the streets or, worse, engage in petty crime just to survive.

Don’t get us wrong. It’s not that we want them just taken away and put somewhere else to be someone else’s problem. Again, that would merely be a cosmetic solution. They can always come back. We want them taken care of; and not in the gangster connotation of the phrase.

When we say taken care of we mean attended to. Taken off the streets and into schools, provided jobs, provided housing, and given mental care as in the case of the naked vagrants.

We realize that this is easier said than done, not to mention something that will be challenging and very, very expensive. But the less people we have in the streets who don’t have to be there, the closer we will come to this goal of becoming like Singapore.

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