Official urges parents to stop bringing children to protests

A CITY government official has urged parents or guardians to stop bringing their children to protest actions, unless they are willing to face the consequences of being charged in court.

Minda Silvano, head of the Quick Response Team for Children’s Concerns (QRTCC) under the City Social Services and Development Center said the bringing of minors to the picket lines and other similar activities is a violation of Republic Act 7610, or the Special Protection of Children against abuse or exploitation.

“We have an immediate ‘rescue policy’ when it comes to these movements,” said Silvano, adding that the office can take the child from the area of the protest to its center for children.

“We tell them (parents or guardians) we are from the local government and tell them to just accompany their children at the sidelines (of their movement),” she added.

She added if they refuse and insist to have the child participate in protest actions, the police can file cases against them. “So far, we did not have situations that they did not listen to us, or that we required police intervention,” said Silvano.

Meanwhile, the QRTCC said the number of children rescued from the streets at night has decreased “significantly” this year.

“From 20 to 30 children a night last year, we are down to atleast five or even nights when there are no rescues at all,” said Silvano.

She added the most common areas where they rescue children violating the city’s curfew hours on minors are in San Pedro and Sta. Ana.

Recently, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte also ordered the city police office to pick up vagrants and place them at their stations “for their own safety”.

The mayor lashed out at the parents of children roaming the streets after curfew, adding the government will take them away to provide proper care.

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