Children left on the streets to survive finally drew the attention of Bohol officials after making headlines.
Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) Member Tomas Abapo Jr. brought up the matter during the regular session last Friday, citing his own experience with the kids.
Abapo, in a privilege speech, moved for a legislative action on the plight of street children â€œroad testingâ€ on their tender thoughts that led them petty to crimes that gradually pushed them to the lure of euphoria in solvent sniffing.
As of now, petty crimes as tender as their age is the score but Abapo warned that these acts appearing as childâ€™s play could proportionately grow with them into felonies that will pose challenge to society.
In his privilege speech, Abapo shared that he personally had observed these street kids sniffing rugby, begging by force, manifesting ill and rowdy manners as they shouted invectives when not given alms and stealing food when not given such food.
TheÂ matter was referred to the SP Committee on Social Services for recommendation on legislative action.
In his experience, Abapo said these kids he chanced upon one timeÂ along Lessage St. in Tagbilaran CityÂ even snarled at him when heÂ admonished them for sniffing rugby.Â
Abapo also noticed that there are children aged eight to 14 Â who are roaming around, begging alms, money and food.
The news he had read in Bohol Chronicle and heard from the radio about these children brought him back to that experience.
Â Â Â Â Â As seeing kids sniffing rugby in public places and engaging in petty crimes is alarming, Abapo moved that the SP should look into the matter to be able to produce a legislative output as contribution in the effort to address the concern.
TheÂ ChronicleÂ ran a story in its March 22, 2017 issue depicting street children in Tagbilaran City engaging in crimes as petty as their age but shadowed by a serious vice- –solvent addiction.
In response to a Facebook post of DYRD Bohol Ang Kasaligan showing these kids sniffing rugby, theÂ ChronicleÂ followed the children on their daily activities on the streets as such post drew comments expressing concerns and worries on the childrenâ€™s fate.
The truth is alarming as they are in fact engaged in harassing passersby and stealing wherever their feet bring them.
Noticeable is that they already know where to find victims and concentrate on populous areas.
They are actually just tracing the same routes everyday to prey on unsuspecting passersby and some stores.
The usual places they go everyday include the B. Inting St. area going to the City Square, plaza, St. Joseph Cathedral, CPG Avenue from BQ Mall area then to the stretch up to the area along Bohol Cultural Center, University of Bohol, pier area, Gallares St. and back to the plaza.
When they rest they hang around usually at corner M. Parras and B. Inting Sts. where they are often found sniffing solvent.
They are actually just visible, according to some of the victims of snatching.
At times they would politely beg for some coins, and would turn down food or any in-kind gifts.
These street children are different from the Badjao mothers and children who beg for coins from those who park their cars across the Island City Mall and motorists stopping at intersections of roads.
The sight of street children growing in number worried Tagbilaranons amid the lack of fruitful action from the city government.
This summarizes the reactions to the Facebook post of DYRD Bohol Ang Kasaligan.
The Facebook post of DYRD Bohol Ang Kasaligan shows street children gathered near the corner of M. Parras and B. Inting Streets where they sniff solvent placed inside a transparent plastic bag.
One reactor to the Facebook post attested that she had once seen the same group of street children sniffing solvent near the area.
This scenario is similar to what had been seen in some urban areas outside Bohol where boys and even girls of young age sniff solvent as they loiter the urban streets, â€œthus the term â€˜solvent boysâ€™ was coined, referring to themâ€.
They inhale the solvent or rugby placed in a plastic bag â€œto achieve euphoriaâ€.
Other reactors to the Facebook post of DYRD Bohol Ang Kasaligan commented that they had also seen those children across University of Bohol where they swiftly enter an eatery and took a studentâ€™s change placed on the table.
According to another comment, those children were also seen in the area near UB and entered the Our Delibread outlet, then took the money from the cashier.
Some of those who commented to the Facebook post called on the city government through the City Social Welfare and Development Office to act now before the problem worsens as these children have been seen loitering along the city streets for more than a year already.
One of the concerns raised is that these children living in crimes everyday might grow up into hardened criminals when they become adults.