Govt seeks to reduce number of street kids

Published by rudy Date posted on May 9, 2011

SOCIAL Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman reported over the weekend that the department is currently implementing a program aimed at drastically reducing the number of street children by December 2011.

Soliman said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) had identified 10 areas in the cities of Quezon, Pasay, Manila, and Caloocan where street children proliferate. These areas are located on busy thoroughfares where street children beg for money or sell sampaguitas which poses danger to the street children as well as the motorists.

The secretary said the department had been conducting rescue operations on these areas and rescued street children are turned over to rehabilitation centers or returned to their families.

For rescued street families, DSWD is offering the “Balik Probinsya” program, where they are given free transportation back to their home provinces.

To prevent them from going back to the metropolis, Soliman said that, the department was giving the rescued families 1,000 square meters of land complete with farming or fishing equipment that they could use and cultivate.

Soliman also disclosed a plan to convert a one-hectare area at the Quezon City Parks and Wildlife into a sampaguita plantation where vendors can purchase the flower at a low price. However, there is a condition that they must not allow their children to sell the flowers at major thoroughfares.

In the past years, several street children has been killed or injured in major highways in Metro Manila. –Manila Times

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