The Bohol Provincial Board (PB) has called for an inquiry on the substance abuse of several street children as they roam the capital city tending to commit misdemeanors while the Tagbilaran City Council urged concerned agencies, barangay officials and parents to take action.
PB Member Tomas Abapo Jr. on Friday proposed the probe after he expressed concern over street children hooked on â€œrugby,â€ which is classified as a dangerous drug due to its widespread abuse.
In his privilege speech, Abapo said that he has personally admonished some of the glue-sniffing children in public areas in Tagbilaran City.
Abapo pointed out the surrounding areas of City Square, Plaza Rizal, St. Josephâ€™s Cathedral, BQ Mall, University of Bohol, Bohol Cultural Center and Gallares St. as places frequented by the delinquents who are aged between eight and 14.
The inquiry has been set as an initial step to help the children and to address the issue which would likely lead to the commission of crimes, Abapo added.
For his part, Tagbilaran City Councilor Jonas Cacho said that he is concerned that the adhesive solvent would become a gateway drug which would lead to the abuse of stronger illegal substances such as shabu and marijuana.
The city legislator primarily blamed parentsâ€™ neglect in taking care of their children which has led to their substance abuse and commission of crimes such as petty theft.
Cacho who is the chairman of the City Councilâ€™s committee on youth and sports said that he is planning to pass an ordinance which would implement programs that would keep children from engaging in vices and illegal activities.
He also called on the Department of Social Welfare and Development to take action and barangay officials to monitor street children who roam their respective villages.
In the speech, hardware shops and other store owners were also urged to stop selling solvents to minors.
The issue was raised in both legislative bodies after the Chronicle published a story on sightings of children who are openly sniffing the addictive substance along streets in Tagbilaran City.
Concerned citizens have also shared photos of the rugby-sniffing children through DYRD Bohol Ang Kasaligan Facebook page prompting hundreds of netizens to share insights on the issue and urge the government to take action. (Allen Doydora and Rey Tutas)