It’s a joke, right?

I’m talking about Malacañang’s announcement on Friday, July 9, 2021, that children five years old and above are now allowed out in areas under general community quarantine and modified general community quarantine.

Because I’ve been complaining about children who run wild past curfew on J. Urgello St. in Barangay Sambag 1, Cebu City since last year.

You don’t believe me? Why don’t you ask personnel of the Abellana Police Station or barangay officials? I’ve called them several times to address the problem. To no avail.

I don’t mean to sound like a party pooper, because I’m not, but there are limits to my patience.

First, I understand that many children were cooped up in their homes for a long period of time when the country imposed the lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

They and their parents are probably sick at the sight of each other.

I also know that it’s healthy for children to be up and about. They don’t belong indoors. They need to socialize with other kids, play tag, laugh and do what it is that other kids do.

So I say go for it.

But not well into midnight. When people are fast asleep. When old folks like me are getting home from work and just want to relax and listen to music on Youtube and perhaps conduct a little research on... you know.

And the language that comes out of these children’s mouths. Even I can’t blurt some of them out without blushing. And I’m beginning to sound Jurassic.

But I get to hear everything because these children don’t know how to talk in a normal voice. It seems screaming at the top of their lungs is their way of speaking.

Mind you, I haven’t called the authorities to report them in a long, long time. I figured they had better things to do than attend to my convenience like rounding up quarantine violators in bar establishments.

Ironic, isn’t it? How police apprehend people of age who break the curfew while completely ignoring minors who run loose in the wee hours of the morning. Although, come to think of it, there’s almost nothing they can do since the law prevents them from arresting the children. Also, it’s not as lucrative.

As for the children, they have lookouts. They scamper away at the sight or sound of police or tanod only to return when the coast is clear. And then they laugh and boast about outsmarting and outwitting the authorities.

It’s like a game to them.

That’s why the authorities should change tack and go after their parents instead. They should remind the adults that the country, and that includes Cebu, is still in the middle of an ongoing health crisis.

At the end of the day, the children are their parents’ responsibility.

Children five years old and above now allowed out, funny har har.