20 street children rescued in Quezon City
MANILA, Philippines – Twenty minors were rescued from the streets of Quezon City Thursday evening, authorities said Friday.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Undersecretary Jose Gutierrez Jr. said that a rescue operation conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Anti-Drug Abuse Council (ADAC) of the Quezon City Local Government, Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Department of Health, and the Quezon City Police District from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. found 20 streetchildren who were taken to Camp Karingal. PDEA said that they rescued children as young as seven years old and several teenagers from various parts of the city, including Cubao and areas near Barangay (village) Pinyahan.
Authorities believed that those rescued could have been exposed to illegal activities on the streets. DSWD social workers provided counselling for the rescued children while representatives from the CHR “ensured that the street children were not deprived of their basic rights during the rescue operation,” said Gutierrez.
The children were then transferred to the PDEA National Headquarters in Barangay Pinyahan, Quezon City where they stayed for the night.
Gutierrez said that the children, with written consent from their parents, underwent drug tests, and medical and drug dependence examination. He explained that the results of the tests would serve as basis for the social workers’ referral to rehabilitation centers.
Rescued children who are residents of Quezon City would be taken to the QC ADAC-managed Tahanan Rehabilitation Center while others would be referred to the NGO-led Fabella Children’s Care Center in Quezon City or Camp Bagong Diwa Rehabilitation Center under the DoH.
Most of the children admitted to having sniffed rugby, he revealed.
He added that the PDEA would continue to rescue children on the streets of Metro Manila and urged parents to take care of their children and “be responsible for starting anti-drug awareness and prevention in the family.”
Originally posted at 4:19 p.m.
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