What do you do when you see a street kid in Manila?

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About a year ago from today, an 11 month old baby girl was taken from her mother in the streets of San Juan City Manila. The day after, she was found under a jeepney, raped and left for dead. This is the kind of news we don’t like hearing about but I want to share this with you to empower you to help prevent it from happening again.

Last year, I felt helpless about the news and crushed. I tried to send a message to the DSWD facebook page to see if they would reply. I know not too many of us believe in government organizations anymore but I thought it was a good place to start.

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Of course we all have doubt in our mind if the goverment agencies really work or do anything at all other than to be their corrupt selves. I want to have faith and it seems my google search results want the same thing. In 2011 DSWD was rated by Pulse Asia as the “least corrupt” government agency. In March 2015, they, along with NGOs vowed to fight corruption.

So I know the question in your mind is – should I give these street children money, food, anything? Then DSWD Chief Dinky Soliman in a December 2014 press release reminded that motorists should refrain from giving alms, especially to street children.

Instead, motorists should either call the attention of the barangay (village) where they saw the children or tweet the DSWD (@savethestreetkids) the area where they saw street children and social workers of the agency would respond immediately.

This is in line with PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 1563 – ESTABLISHING AN INTEGRATED SYSTEM FOR THE CONTROL AND ERADICATION OF MENDICANCY, PROVIDING PENALTIES, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES (which states:)

This Decree shall be known as the Mendicancy Law of 1978. It shall apply to all mendicants, and exploited infants or children who are 8 years old and below, minors found begging and covered by Presidential Decree No. 603 and parents of exploited infants and children criminally liable under Article 59 and 60 of Presidential Decree No. 603.

To simplify it for non-paralegals, adults who are taking advantage of these minors by making them beg in the streets will be apprehended and put behind bars.This will help kids under 15 years old to be taken under the custody of DSWD and given the help they need. All it takes is one tweet from you.

I want to believe that these kids will not stay in the streets forever, or worse live their last days there.

Please tweet to save them.

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