IS the rise of gangs reportedly recruiting minors in Cebu City alarming?
For Mayor Tomas Osmeña, these minors are just “restless” because they don’t have alternatives.
His pronouncement came after nine minors who allegedly belonged to a “fam” or gang were rescued by tanods in Barangay Apas during the Holy Week. The youngest was a nine-year-old boy while the oldest was a 15-year-old girl.
“A lot of these things is because they are young and restless so they all have to do something. That’s why I want to turn the property in the South Road Properties (SRP) into a playground. We’re also opening more (24/7 public) libraries. It’s giving them an alternative,” Osmeña told reporters.
Last month, the mayor announced that 20 hectares in the SRP, which used to be the property three giant developers bought, will be converted by the City Government into a sports hub.
He said the construction of the facility will start this year.
Also last month, Osmeña ordered the conversion of the Cebu City Public Library into a 24/7 facility.
Two weeks later, the City formally opened the first public study center in the city. A+ Study Center, located on the second floor of Pardo Public Market, operates 24/7 and has a seating capacity of over 100.
“I want the kids to enjoy. Just because you’re poor, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy,” Osmeña said.
In a separate interview, Councilor Dave Tumulak urged parents to do their part and discipline their children.
“The parents should do their part and look after their children since the tanods and the authorities are only out there as support to ensure their children’s safety in public,” he said in Cebuano.
Tumulak, head of the committee on peace in order, said the barangays should continue to enforce the curfew ordinance in their respective areas.
City Ordinance 1786, or the curfew ordinance, prohibits minors from loitering outside their residences from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. the following day.