MINORS who are rescued in curfew operations in Barangay Pajo, Lapu-Lapu City will undergo an examination to determine if they have sexually transmitted infections (STI), an official said.
Pajo Captain Junard Chan, through the barangay health center’s nurse, coordinated with the City Health Office (CHO) so the minors can be treated if they test positive.
According to Chan, they are now looking for 18 minors who had sexual contact with six members of a “fam” (current slang for gang), who were earlier rescued and confirmed to be suffering from an STI.
Chan feared they might pass the infection to their other contacts.
“I-testing ang mga na-rescue kung naa ta’y kadudahan. Kon i-release unya mahibaw pa tag pangita (We will let the minors, especially those showing symptoms of STI, undergo the test after they are rescued instead of releasing them. If we let them go first, we’d have a hard time looking for them),” said Chan.
He said the examination will be done in the presence of their parents or guardians. After the test, the minors will be turned over to the adults who are supposed to be responsible for them.
Pajo officials have learned that members of some “fams” were infected after they rescued six minors who had stayed out despite a curfew.
The barangay listed 24 minors, including the six who tested positive for STI. They belong to different “fams” like Batang Sangi, Pintatonik, Tycoons Chix, Younger Fam and Bulabog.
Chan said the six minors confessed that they had sexual contact with 18 others.
Their ages range between 13 and 17. Some were believed to have contracted the infection as a result of initiation rites.
For a person to be accepted in the group, he or she is asked to choose between having sex with other members or getting the paddle as part of the initiation.
“We continue to rescue ang mga bata (the youth), especially targeting those naa sa atong list (who are on the list),” said Chan.
Most of the children in the list of Pajo barangay hall are not from their village. Chan explained that even if the minor is not from their barangay, barangay officials still want them to undergo the examination after they are rescued in Pajo.
The CHO offered free medication to anyone who has STI, said Chan.
According to him, minors who are tested positive expressed willingness to be treated.
“Ato pagtabang man nila kay sa mag-antos sila anang sakita (What we want is to help them, instead of letting them suffer from an untreated STI),” said Chan.
There are 10,000 students in Pajo, including those studying in private schools, and the village has the most number of students in Lapu-Lapu City.
Chan said he does not want the youth to be influenced into joining “fams” and plans to organize symposiums on STI awareness in different schools.
Supt. Elmer Lim, deputy city director for operation of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office, said the issues of minors with STI was raised during their regular meeting with the chiefs of different police stations in Lapu-Lapu last Thursday.
Lim said that Chief Insp. Junnel Caadlawon, chief of Lapu-Lapu Police Station 3, gathered all the leaders of the fams a few days ago to teach them about crime prevention.
“Giingnan sila nga di magsamok-samok. Ikaduha, kung naay mokontra nila, isumbong sa police (They were advised not to be a problem in the community. Second, if other gang members start to cause trouble, they must immediately called the police),” said Lim.
Mayor Paz Radaza will meet the barangay captains in Lapu-Lapu next week to talk about this concern and other issues.