Street children living under bridge ‘rescued’

SOME 18 street kids living under Marcos Bridge in Cagayan de Oro City were rescued by authorities Tuesday evening, July 18.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWD), Task Force Oro, and the Cagayan de Oro Police Office began rounding up the minors at 4 a.m. Tuesday.

The street kids, said to be in the habit of sniffing solvents, were made to undergo medical checkups by the City Health Office before they were turned over to the Mother Theresa Foundation in Upper Puerto, Tahanan ng Kabataan, and in Boystown.

"We are supporting the local government unit on this initiative, our role is to support the local government units in whatever way we can. Continuing ni siya na operation para i-save ang mga bata, kay puhon kung pasagdahan nato sila, they can be future kidnappers, snatchers, future criminals," Task Force Oro spokesperson Captain Rey Escalera said.

"By doing this, they have a chance in changing their lives," he added.

CSWD head Teddy Sabuga-a said the City Government will do its part especially in the rehabilitation of the children, and eventually turn them over to their parents.

He said the CSWD will find the kids' families, and if possible, give them livelihood so that they will not go back living in the streets.

It can be recalled that the police and CSWD rescued about 130 families and 90 children, last May 5.

The CSWD recorded 87 Badjao families from Zamboanga, 23 from Iligan, three from Sulu, one family from Surigao, 16 informal settler families in Cagayan de Oro, and 90 street children roaming around the city.

Sabuga-a said there will be more reach out operations, however, they are now focused on information dissemination and making families understand, particularly parents, on their responsibilities.
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