SENIOR Insp. Michael Anthony Bastes used to invite street children to jog with him. He would then feed and bring them to church.

He said activities like these keep the children away from crimes.

But he has stopped because he still needs 40 pairs of running shoes, even used ones that are still in good condition, for the kids.

Bastes is looking for donors of shoes for the kids, ages 5 to 15.

Bastes, community relations officer of Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO), has been working closely with social workers of Mandaue City to help street kids.

Pureza Taboac, senior social worker officer of Mandaue City Social Welfare Services (CSWS), said there are 62 children in the city’s holding center now.

Only 25 of them are stay-in; the others go in and out.

Taboac said there are street kids in different areas of Mandaue, like near the Barangay Maguikay flyover, the Cebu International Convention Center, and the city’s public markets and parks.

She said CSWS officers usually gather the children and bring them to the holding center where they will be fed.

The CSWS officers then call the parents and talk to them.

Pero kasagaran sa mga parents give up na sila ana. Moingon sila di na nila kaya ang pag-handle sa mga bata (But most of the parents said they are giving up. They said they can no longer handle their children),” Taboac said.

She said there is a possibility that the children are used by a syndicate.

Bastes said street kids are one of the reasons the number of crimes increases.

Mosaka gyud kini basta atong pasagdan ang mga bata (The crime volume increases if we don’t give attention to these children),” he said.

Bastes prefers to call these kids on the streets as community children.

The police officer is close to the street kids.

He said there is a possibility that the kids will change if they will be involved in activities like running and going to church.

Bastes is looking for donors of shoes for the kids, ages 5 to 15.

“I hope I will be assigned longer in MCPO so that I can see the result if these children are well attended,” he said.