Briones: Wanted: tanods

I DON’T envy the tanods in Cebu City.

They have their hands full trying to enforce City Ordinance 1786, which prohibits minors from loitering outside their homes from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. the next day.

If they don’t, they stand to lose their P4,000 allowance from City Hall. That will certainly put a big dent in the budget of someone who already doesn’t earn that much in the first place.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña issued the directive after he got wind of gangs recruiting elementary students in Barangay Basak Pardo.

“In places where there are children going around violating the ordinance and we see that the tanods are not effective, we will suspend their allowances. Why spend money if they are not effective?” he told SunStar’s Rona T. Fernandez.

Why indeed. If they’re not doing their job, then they don’t deserve any compensation.

In Barangay Sambag 1, for example, children as young as 10 can be found roaming the streets of Urgello as late as 2 a.m.

They don’t just roam. Some treat the streets like their backyard dump. In one incident, I was forced to call the police because one of them threw a bottle in the middle of the road because he thought it was a cool thing to do.

Anyway, the cop who answered asked why I didn’t call the barangay. I told him outright that the barangay was and is inutile.

You think I’m being too harsh? Trust me I’ve been very patient.

To those who don’t know, I stop by my grandmother’s house for a nightcap before I head home to Banilad every night after work.

I’ve been doing that for several years. So I see everything that goes on in front of our property because that’s where I park myself. Right outside our carenderia. Only a wall and a grilled gate separate me from the outside.

I have become a nightly fixture that some students from Southwestern University have mistaken me for a security guard.

I had to stifle a laugh and put on my best “security guard” face when a passerby shushed her inebriated friends when she saw me, a bottle of “milk” in hand plopped in front of my laptop watching Netflix.

Over the years, I can count on two hands the number of times I’ve seen barangay tanods conduct patrols on Urgello St. between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m.

If you think I’m exaggerating, I think there’s a security camera at the corner that will confirm that.

Our particular area has become a watering hole because there are three establishments that are open round the clock: one convenience store and two eateries.

It only makes sense that they converge there late at night to either eat or drink.

But they’re not the problem. The absence of tanods is.
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