According to a 1998 report, the street children in the Philippines are about 1.5 Million. More than a decade has passed those numbers could be doubled today. I decided to write this for people to be aware of the situation of today's youth.
As a private citizen I could not do anything to help those kids rather than writing about it and letting people know that they need protection and care.
Our government has been doing its job on protecting our children, but it is not enough. Our law has no fangs on protecting our children, mainly because we see it as "common" these days. People are ignoring the facts that they are growing rapidly.
Reasons why street children numbers are growing
Physical and Emotional Abuse
I can't technically say I was abused but when I was a child my mother beat me with anything she can hold in her hands, she even drown me, point a knife on my neck or just beat me just like in a Mortal Kombat video game which leads me to running away, a good thing my dad always finds me so I didn't ended up as a street children. Anyway, physical and emotional abuse are one of the primary reasons children run away from their parents, because they are so vulnerable the only chance for them to escape is running away. I also have a problem with Filipino culture on how Filipino parents discipline their kids. Back in the old days, parents beat their kids for disciplinary action which has been passed until today but for me any form of violence verbal or none verbal is an abuse.
If you go on the streets on slum areas, you will notice a kid hiding something on his shirt, in which he/she blows something or inhales it. They call them "rugby boys" or "solvent boys" these are rubber cement in which they inhale just not to feel hunger anymore. Street children are very vulnerable to drugs because they will do anything just to feed their empty stomach, and is one of the reasons they are target of drug dealers and syndicates.
Most street children are abandoned by their stupid parents. They are the fruit of early pregnancies of teenagers or the result of an unwanted relationship, and that is why they ended up on the streets. If you notice most family from the poor sector has more than 8 kids sometimes doubled. Some of these parents are irresponsible because they don't plan their family, they don't know whats it like having kids, even if they do, they still want to multiply then, when crisis came some of their kids are being adopted, then run away and lastly ended up on the streets. They doesn't care about quality living and they have this saying "ang kayamanan ng mahihirap ay ang kanyang mga anak", and we also believe in the catholic saying that "go to the world and multiply".
In the province there are a bunch of people going to small barangays trying recruit young people for work or education sponsorship. But beware, some of them are human traffickers. Because people from far away places are a bit illiterate, they are easily deceived by promises of fortune from these human traffickers, they offer a good work with good pay but most of the people they recruit especially children ended up abused or work for prostitution. Those who ran away are usually ended up living in the streets because they have no place to go.
No concrete protection from the government
As I have emphasized earlier,this country's law protecting its future leaders... suck! No awareness from schools about child protection. The lack of action from local government authorities dismays international groups like UNICEF. Besides street children issues we should also take concerns on child labors which is also growing by its numbers.
I think this is the government should do to lessen street children and child abuse.
- The government should campaign for children rights on TV instead of politicians who are running next year for the election.
- For every street children saved, jail its parent or put on a rehab. Let the whole country know that the government are strict on parenting laws.
- Pass the RH bill. Lesser population, lesser mouths to feed. Responsible parenting is one of the solutions to educate people from being pregnant early in which leads to abandonment of their children.
- Increase the budget or find a way to let people participate on saving and protecting children. Make a website purely on child protection, make it interactive and user friendly. Most of us has a camera phone, so lets use it wisely and connect the sites to dswd or local police station.
- Improve boys town facilities. For every child saved on the streets some of them run away because they don't like staying there. For them freedom is their happiness by taking it away you also take away their freedom. But, if we have a child friendly, highly maintained, fun facilities for children, they won't ever run away.
That's it, those are some of my thoughts how about yours, what do you think?