Cebu City police focus on net cafes amid increase of rescued minors
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Policemen are focusing on internet cafes in interior areas of Cebu City after most of the minors rescued here in three days for violating quarantine protocols were caught inside these establishments.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla, deputy director for operations of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said the order to closely monitor these internet cafes especially those operating without permits was made after 97 minors, who were rescued from August 6 to 8, were mostly caught inside internet cafes.
With the city placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), minors or those below 18 years old are prohibited to be outside their homes or go inside internet cafes unless they are there for educational purposes.
“As long as it is educational unya dunay kuyug sa ilang guardians or parents nga mag research sila kay related sa ilahang pag skwela,” Parilla said.
(As long as it is educational and they are accompained by their guardians or parents to do research related to their schooling [then this would be allowed]), Parilla said.
He warned that if these internet cafes would still be observed to allow children inside then they [the police] would record the violation then forward a report to the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) and the Business Permit and Licensing Office and the latter will direct the barangay to close or not the establishment.
Parilla said that most erring internet cafes were those that did not have permits to operate.
Recently, Councilor Joel Garganera, chief implementor of EOC, had also expressed his concern on the rising COVID-19 cases among minors in Cebu City.
As per their record last August 6, they have noted 47 individuals below 20 years old who contracted COVID-19 virus.
Of the 47, at least 19 were in the newborns to 10-year-old age group, and 28 were 11 to 20 years old age group.
With this, Parilla said that he supported the proposal to penalize parents of erring minors, who would be rescued twice.
“Uyon kaayo ta ana kay usa ni sa atoang problema nga magsige tag balik balik sa atoang minors og rescue. Then inig ka human mubalik ra sad kay kahibalo man sila nga wala silay liability,” he said.
(We agree with this because one of our recurring problems is the minors that we had rescued will continue to go back outside. After we rescue them, they return again outside because they do not have any liability for committing this violation.)
With this, Parilla appeals to parents to check on their children from time to time and prohibit them from going outside.
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