Mayor Isko warns parents of street children in Manila: I will hold you responsible

Maris Federez

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso has warned the parents of street children in the nation’s capital that they will be held responsible for neglecting their children.

“Sa lahat ng mga magulang ng mga menor de edad na sinosoga ninyo, yung anak ninyo sa kalye, hinahayaan ninyo — nagso-solvent, humihilata sa avenida, Taft Avenue — e, baka akala ninyo hindi ko napapansin. One way or another, I will find a way kung paano ko kayo pananagutin sa inyong kapabayaan sa mga anak ninyo na menor de edad [To all parents of minors who let their children loiter the streets, sniffing solvent, lying down on the Rizal Avenue, Taft Avenue – you might be thinking that I never notice them. One way or another, I will find a way to hold you responsible for neglecting your children],” Domagoso said in a recent media briefing.

Mayor Domagoso made the statement after he was asked what happened to the so-called “solvent boys” seen in the streets of Manila, particularly on Rizal Avenue and Taft Avenue.

“Meron pa rin, panaka-naka [There are still a few of them there],” said the mayor.

He stressed that there should be ways to help these children.

“One of the main issues that I raised before the MDSWD (Municipal Department of Social Welfare and Development) and to our policemen is to kunin yung lahat ng solvent boy sa avenida, Rizal Avenue, mga parks, and so on and so forth, tapos dalhin sa MDSWD tapos dalhin Boys Town [is to round up all the solvent boys in the streets, Rizal Avenue, in parks and so on and so forth and then bring them to the MDSWD and then to Boys Town],” he said.

Mayor Isko, however, said that he is willing to talk to the parents of these children.

“Alam ko na challenging magpalaki ng anak. Totoo yan. Lahat naman tayo nakararanas niyan. Pero yung isoga mo nang isoga yung anak mo sa kalye, tapos yung parang balewala na lang lang sa iyo, na bahala na, e tingin ko naman wala namang masama na kung yung mga magulang ng mga batang ito makausap ko ng masinsinan [I know raising children is challenging. That’s true. We all experience that. But letting your child loiter the street, like you just don’t care, I think there’s nothing wrong if I talked to these parents in a serious manner],” he said.  

The mayor added that he is bent on breaking the “vicious cycle” of children living on the streets by making their parents step up and become more responsible.

In the same media briefing, Metro Manila police chief, Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said they back Domagogo’s drive to clean up Manila.

“Being the regional director of NCRPO (National Capital Region Police Office), I’m really impressed sa kanyang ginagawa dun sa initial weeks pa lang ng kanyang panunungkulan. Lahat tayo’y gusto natin ang kanyang ginagawa [with what he is doing in the initial weeks of his administration. We all like what he is doing],” he said.

“Aside from the MPD (Manila Police District) which is fully supportive of the efforts of the mayor, I am committing the whole NCRPO to support this just like I am committed to support yung NCRPO outside of Metro Manila, lalo na yung nasa regional headquarters, to support hindi lang Metro Manila but lahat ng mga LGUs (local government units) na nangangailangan ng suporta namin [especially those in the regional headquarters, to support not just Metro Manila but all the LGUs that need our support],” he added. /mbmf

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