Cebu City dads want recent escape of CILCs from Operation Second Chance probed
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Members of the Cebu City Council wants personnel of the Operation Second Chance (OSC) facility in Barangay Kalunasan to explain what prompted the escape of five minors Monday night, March 2, 2020.
Councilor Dave Tumulak, who is head of the Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management of the City Council, said that the escape should be investigated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that is supervising personnel at the shelter for children in conflict with the law (CICL) because this was already the fourth incident reported since October 2019 or in less than five months.
Five minors bolted the facility past 8 p.m. on Monday, but only two of them have been recaptured so far.
Tumulak is asking OSC personnel to furnish the council with a thorough report of the Monday night incident. He said that there was also a need to brief the council as to why these incidents are allowed to repeatedly happen.
“The OSC staff has failed to provide a detailed report on the escaping incidents in the past. They have not reported the latest developments now as well,” he said.
Submission of the needed report, Tumulak said, will help the council better understand operational concerns at the facility and find solutions to these concerns.
Councilor Philip Zafra, Chairperson of the Council’s Committee on Security and Public Order, said he plans to visit the facility to conduct his own investigation on the escape of the minors.
Zafra said he was told by Guadalupe police that the CICLs escaped while potable water was being delivered into the facility.
“Gibangaan sa mga bata ang nagdeliver og tubig,” he said.
(The children bumped the men who were delivering water [on their way out]).
Zafra said that he already spoke with officials of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) to request for the deployment of policemen to help secure the facility.
He said that incidents on the escape of the minors are now “alarming.” This could also be an indication that children are not comfortable in the company of the new set of house parents that were brought into the facility in July 2019.
Zafra said he will recommend to Mayor Edgardo Labella to reconvene members of the Operation Second Chance Board to review how the facility is being run. Board members have not been reconvened since Labella assumed office in July 2019.
The board that is headed by the elected mayor includes DSWD, OSC, and City Council representatives in its membership.
Zafra said there was also a need to look into current rehabilitation programs implemented there and how these can be improved.
As a long-term plan, Zafra is proposing the transfer of the facility to Barangay Guba where a new jail facility is also being planned. / dcb
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