Curfew for minors in Oro to deter trafficking

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Thursday, May 22, 2014


IMPOSING curfew among minors in the city might be a relief to the human trafficking problem that beleaguers the country today, said Cagayan de Oro peace, development and security council (CPDSC) executive director Teddy Sabuga-a on Wednesday.

The CPDSC passed a resolution urging the barangays and law enforcers to implement the ordinance on the curfew of minors.

By minors, no person below 15 years old should be seen roaming, wandering around food hubs, clubs, lounges, liquor stores, and the like, after 10 p.m.

“This is to ensure safety among school children in CDO as classes are set to begin this June. Second, this is to remind the parents their responsibility to their children after classes and know their activities. Third, this is also for the city to achieve the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) child-friendly initiatives,” Sabuga-a said.

CPDSC, Sabuga-a said, is looking into the increasing numbers of the street children in the city.

“It worries us that many children are loitering around the city, especially in Divisoria, unaware of the danger around them. Worse, some of them are with their parents. I do not know if this is even forced by their parents,” he said.

With the said ordinance, he added that it will defer the existing child trafficking in the city.

In 2011, a syndicate picked children in the city to convert them to beggars and profit from them.

Sabuga-a said there is a new ‘modus’ existing in CDO today where street children are used by pedophilic foreigners for child pornography and other sex-related activities.

Upon the existing ordinance, children who will be caught beyond the curfew in the watering holes will be penalized from P500 to P1500 or imprisonment of not less than a month and 10 days or up to four months.

Also, the street children who will be caught will be ‘sorted out’ by the CPDSC.

“They will be rescued. Then we separate those who have parents and those who do not have. For those who have, parents will be called by the City Social and Welfare Development (CSWD) and for those who do not have will be brought to the Boys town,” he said.

For the long-term plan of CSWD, parents will undergo the parents’ orientation that will be conducted by the office.

“We will give them advice and help them understand what this is all about. Also, we will refer parents who have many children and who cannot sustain the needs of their children to the Natural Family Planning of the Archdiocese of CDO,” he ended.

The ordinance will be effective once classes will start. CPDSC and CSWD will gather all barangays and barangay tanods, and orient them on May 26.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 23, 2014.

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