Briones: ‘Rescuing’ street dwellers

·2 min read

While the Cebu City Government and the Cebu City Police Office are “rescuing” street dwellers and trying to get them back to their home provinces, they should check on a group of teens who have made a gutted building along J. Urgello St. in Barangay Sambag 2 their home.

I’m talking about the one across a hospital and a pharmacy that burned down last December.

As far as I know, these teens have not caused any trouble. In fact, they make themselves scarce during the day. I have no idea where they go, but come nighttime they sure make their presence felt.

And yes. I can hear every expletive that comes out of their mouth when they’re around. I don’t think they received the memo about yelling. That it’s not the best way to endear themselves to residents who are trying to go to sleep.

And every morning, garbage that wasn’t on the sidewalk outside my house the night before mysteriously appears. So I have to tell my caretaker to clean it up before others decide that my front yard is now the new dumping place for their waste. Apparently, some people will go to great lengths to keep their environs spic and span.

But I digress.

The noise and ruckus that I have had to endure are but mere inconveniences compared to the teens’ plight.

I’m not as heartless as you might think. Not that I’m saying I care. I complain, I rant because these kids, and most of them are kids, shouldn’t be out there on the streets fending for themselves. They should be in school. Or at home.

In an ideal world, that would be the case. But we all know our world is far from ideal. And so they’re there.

I admit. Having lived in a gated community for over two decades had spoiled me. Still, when I moved to this part of the city which my father’s family has called home since after the Second World War, I knew what to expect. Sambag 1, where I now live, and Sambag 2 have always been bustling neighborhoods because of the university and hospital in their midst, not to mention their proximity to the downtown and uptown areas. They sometimes serve as beacons to those in search of opportunities. It’s no wonder they attract “street dwellers.”

By the way, I’ve managed to interview some of them. One group told me they ran away from home to escape abuse. Another said they had no other place to go because their parents were in jail.

I don’t know if they were telling the truth, but one thing is for sure, they’re in need of “rescuing.”

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