POLICE and social workers in Mandaue City have taken more than 40 children off the streets.
The children were placed in the newly opened Hope for Mandaue, a City-run shelter for children who are neglected, abused and in legal trouble.
The rescue operation started last month, said Supt. Julian Entoma, deputy director for operations of the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO).
Mayor Jonas Cortes earlier challenged the City Social Welfare Office to keep all street children in the shelter before his last term ends next year.
Last Nov. 13, Entoma said the police and social workers brought 35 children to the shelter, located in Sitio Dungguan, Barangay Basak. The youngest was six years old.
Many of the children, he said, were often seen sniffing solvent.
In the shelter, the children are taught about personal hygiene and given education. The older ones are also taught livelihood skills.
Entoma said some of the children are returned to their parents, especially those who are not from Mandaue City.
The police official underscored the need to require parents of street children to undergo parenting seminars.
“Maybe the City Council can pass an ordinance on that,” he said in a press conference organized last Thursday by the Mandaue City Public Information Office.
He said, though, that requiring parents of rescued street children to attend parenting seminars, as a sanction, will mean additional expenses on the City’s part.
In an earlier interview, MCPO Chief Mariano Natu-el Jr. said the Hope for Mandaue shelter will help reduce street crimes often perpetrated by children.
He said that while minors cannot be arrested under the law, they can be kept in a proper facility.
Cortes, during his State of the Children Address last Oct. 30, said the City soon break ground for the second phase of the facility.
He reported that the City has implemented several programs for children, including street education sessions for 150 children, temporary residential care for 207 children and rescue of 214 children from street life.