Rescue operation for streetkids starts in June
A MONTHLY citywide rescue operation for street children and children in conflict with the law was launched by the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) in coordination with other stakeholders yesterday morning.
Dubbed “Operation sa Gugma,” the operation will start next month and is consist of intervention programs to help the street kids cope with and adjust to mainstream society.
“We often see children in the streets and minor offenders, but these children are helpless, they are victims. If we won’t find ways to help them, they’ll continue to be victims and eventually would-be offenders,” Insp. Arrieza Otida, head of the Family, Gender and Juvenile Development Section of the CCPO told reporters.
Other agencies joining the program are the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Cebu City Hall’s Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS), Juvenile Justice Welfare Council (JJWC), Cebu City Task Force for Street Children (CCTFSC), Dilaab Foundation and Children’s Legal Bureau (CLB).
Cebu City’s barangay officials and officials of the agencies signed a covenant for this purpose at the CCPO’s Camp Sotero Cabahug headquarters yesterday morning.
Cebu City is the second largest urban center in the country and has the second biggest population of street children.
The rescued street children will be brought to the Parian Drop-in Center in Sikatuna Street.
They will be evaluated and assigned to non-government organizations (NGOs) that will care for them.
The CCTFSC will accommodate a maximum of 35 children at risk or street children, while the Philippine Teen Challenge can accommodate 10 children in conflict with the law.
The Parian Drop-In Center on Sikatuna Street is only a temporary shelter not intended for long stays.
It is the base of the Children of Cebu Foundation set up in 1991 by Acting Mayor Margot Osmeña.
The Cebu City police will provide at least three duty details to both the CCTFSC and Philippine Teen Challenge.
Both the DSWD and City Hall’s DSWS will shoulder the street children’s basic needs such as food and clothing.
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