City Hall rounds up street kids following residents’ complaints-A A +A
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
NINE children aged seven to 12 were picked up by Cebu City Hall personnel yesterday morning during a clearing operation in Barangay Punta Princesa, following the complaints of business owners that the children sleep and leave garbage on the streets.
Cebu City Environmental Sanitation Enforcement Team (Ceset) head Grace Luardo said they first went to F. Llamas St. to clear the sidewalks last Monday night after residents and business owners complained to Mayor Michael Rama about the presence of the children.
“The business owners complained that no matter what they do to clean the areas around their establishments, kaning mga libod suroy maghugaw-hugaw gyud. Diha na mangatulog sa sidewalk unya pamiyaan lang ilang mga hugaw (The kids sleep on the sidewalk near their stores and leave their wastes there),” she told Sun.Star Cebu.
During the operation past 9 a.m. yesterday, around seven Ceset personnel saw close to 20 children in the area but managed to collar only seven of them. Some of the children were seen smoking.
The City Hall workers picked up cardboard boxes that the street dwellers used as sleeping mats, which they left on the sidewalk.
They also hauled bottles, cans and other containers that the children collected.
Luardo said they even found and had to clean up human waste in the area.
The children were brought to the Ceset office at the North Reclamation Area and were turned over to the Cebu City Anti-Mendicancy Board yesterday afternoon.
Gender and Development personnel from Punta Princesa recognized the children, who reportedly confessed that they left their homes in Barangay Mambaling to live in the streets.
To keep them off the streets permanently, Luardo sent citation tickets to the children’s parents yesterday afternoon, with notices to proceed to the Ceset office for a dialogue.
“We have identified the parents and we will talk to them because they cannot just leave their children in the streets. We learned that some of them come from broken families. The fathers are drunks or are into gambling. Whatever the situation is, they have to cooperate to make sure their children are safe,” she said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 09, 2014.