MANILA - The Department of Social Welfare and Development is mulling reviving and giving a fresh spin to an old project providing temporary shelters for street families.
Although there are no clear provisions in the law against it, DSWD Acting Secretary Virginia Orogo said the police have to be careful in picking up young loiterers because they could easily be traumatized.
The previous administration, together with local government and non-government organizations, launched activity centers for street children, but this program was put on the backburner and the number of loiterers shot up.
"We are trying to come up with another concept, similar to the activity center, but we will call it ‘Silungan sa Barangay.’ It will be a temporarily shelter wherein if we find out that the child is abandoned, we bring them to our centers," she told ANC's Headstart.
"But if the child has parents or family, even street families, we will welcome them to the Silungan sa Barangay," she said.
The parents would be counseled and taught livelihood activities in the shelter "so that they will not let their children go out in the street and earn for themselves," said Orogo.
Non-government organizations or other entities would also be encouraged to participate in these shelters, she said.
President Rodrigo Duterte last month said teenagers should not be spared from his crackdown order against “tambays” (loiterers), believing that this would be for their protection.
He said “minors are taken into custody but are not arrested… brought to a safe place for the night, for their protection,” fed and then released the morning after.
Thousands have since been apprehended or accosted in Metro Manila since Duterte issued his order, according to the Philippine National Police.
Duterte has brushed aside criticisms to his crackdown order, even as concerns about human rights violation have been raised against it.