City Hall rescues nine ‘abandoned’ kids
Cebu City social workers rescued nine minors aged between 8 to 15 years old from roadside shanties which they occupied along the North Reclamation Area (NRA) and in downtown Cebu City.
All of the nine rescued children were already turned over on Thursday and Friday to the Pari-an Drop-In Center where they could stay for the next two years.
Leah Japson, head of the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS), said that the minors — five girls and four boys — were without parents and were left to fend for themselves.
Four siblings were rescued on October 17 from makeshift shanties built along the sidewalks of the South Road Properties (SRP).
Japson said the four were left in the care of an older sister after their parents were jailed for an illegal drugs case a few months ago.
But since their older sister left for Manila, the minors were on their own at their roadside shanty.
“Since then, sila na lang didto. Naa man silay iyaan pud somewhere near but di pud mopasalig nga maoy mo-take care sa mga bata (Since their sister left, the kids were left on their own. They have an aunt in the city, but she could not also commit to care for them),” said Japson.
The five others were rescued on October 18 from the sidewalks of Osmeña Boulevard and B. Rodriguez Street.
Japson said they learned of the minors’ living condition from a Facebook post that was shared to an office staff of Councilor Margot Osmeña.
Redentor Betito, a program officer of Parian Drop-In Center, said that they are now coordinating with the DSWS to locate the minors’ parents.
He said there is a need to determine if they should be returned to their parents.
Betito said that the children will also be made to undergo psychosocial intervention while they stay at the Pari-an Drop-In center to correct the wrong practices that they learned while they were on the streets.
“We will trace their records, birth certificates to know their real age, if they still have parents or other relatives and to determine our next step with them,” he said.
Betito said rescued kids may stay at the center for a maximum of two years.
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