Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman appealed to local government units (LGUs), especially to the barangays, to be more vigilant in keeping children off the streets.
This is in response to the several incidents involving children on the streets throwing stones at vehicles if they are not given money by the owners/drivers.
“The barangay can immediately act on the issue if they see children on the streets. Furthermore, they know where these kids come from so their active involvement is vital in putting a stop to these incidents,” Sec. Soliman pointed out.
According to reports, the children would ask for money, and if refused or if the money given is too small, they throw stones at the passing vehicles.
Sec. Soliman said that the Department has already collaborated with the Quezon City LGU regarding the incident in C5 Katipunan Road and UP Town Center.
She added that the DSWD has asked the help of the barangay in roving the area wherein six minors involved in the incident were reached out.
Of the six, five children are currently staying at the Molave Youth Home of Quezon City, while one was sent back to his family. An LGU social worker has been sent to talk and provide counseling to the parents of the minor.
Sec. Soliman continued, “The police also designated a mobile team in the area to prevent such incidents from happening again.”
The Secretary explained that the children who committed the offense are not street children, but those living nearby.
Further investigation is needed as the minors may have been under the influence of a solvent, drugs or other intoxicating substances.
The Secretary also reminded parents that they are also liable to the actions of their children. They are also primarily responsible in attending to their kids and ensuring they are already home especially by nighttime.
“Normally, the social workers talk to the parents and conduct counseling on parenting. If the child repeatedly commits an offense, s/he will be placed in a rehabilitation center for the youth in conflict with the law. On the third offense, s/he will no longer be returned to his or her family,” Sec. Soliman warned.
She stated that it would be easier to hold the parents accountable if the LGUs pass an ordinance regarding the presence of children on the streets.
She also mentioned that the Department has a twitter account, @savestreetkids, where the public can immediately report sightings of street children.