IN my previous column, I wrote about the minors whom I called ‘wiper kids’ that littered the stretch of Roxas Boulevard in Manila.
These kids, a combination of past toddler girls and boys, have been harassing motorists cruising along the northbound and southbound lanes of Roxas Boulevard.
With soap in bottled water containers and glass wipers in both hands, these kids, some as small as those normally aged five or six, would run to the still moving vehicles approaching a red light, spray them with soap and begin using their wipers and then demand money. Mind you. They have no slippers or face masks.
If you signal them not to wipe, they would bang their wiper on your windshield or window. They would do the same thing if you have signalled that you don’t want their ‘service’ and they continue to do their thing against your wishes.
Once the light turns green, these kids will hold on to your car and then suddenly release once the vehicle gains speed, opening themselves to the danger of being hit or even run over by other motorists.
This had been the scenario for days until the good mayor yesterday ordered the kids to be rounded up.
It’s just a shame that it took the ‘golden voice’ of no less than Mayor Isko Moreno for the problem to be acted upon.
Mayor Kois had to take the matter into his own hands when the Ermita Police Station is just a spit away from where these kids ‘operate’ and they are mandated to enforce laws like the current ban on minors from staying outdoors since they belong to the high-risk age groups.
The kids were brought to the Alvarez Covered Court in Sta. Cruz, Manila where they will be cared for by the Manila department of social welfare under Re Fugoso and probed if they have parents or not.
In a recent interview, I also saw the desperation of Mayor Kois as he called on church leaders to refrain from activities that would involve large crowd gatherings as these may result in community transmission of COVID-19.
He lamented that there are some attempting to hold parades or processions and similar activities in complete disregard of the protocols set by the national and local governments and the fact that COVID-19 is still very much with us, landing people in hospitals and claiming lives.
A devout Catholic, Mayor Kois said he sees no rationale in violating health protocols in exchange for a religious activity.
He’s got a good and strong point. In Manila, the catch phrase ‘God First!’ had become a byword among residents and even non-residents. This is his way of sending the message to one and all to honor and thank God above all and in whatever you do.
As it is, Mayor Kois and the rest of the city officials already have their hands full with containing the spread of the coronavirus which is threatened by the easing of rules and the subsequent tendency to become lax on the part of the public and they do not need this kind of addition to the already existing problems the city is faced with under the pandemic.
Much against his liking, Mayor Kois said arrests will have to be made against anyone who will insist on doing something that is not allowed under the rules set by the Inter-Agency Task Force.
Mayor Kois is already pleading with church authorities not to force his hand into going to the extent of having to order arrests.
In my opinion, should things lead to this, Mayor Kois could no longer be blamed. The government has set rules that should be followed to the letter and the mayor is mandated by the Constitution and his sworn duty, to protect the citizens of Manila at all times and specially now that the world is under a health emergency situation.
The interests of any church or religion should not take precedence over the welfare of the majority of Manilans, specially so if there are violations of rules and regulations involved. Mayor Kois will just have to take the bull by the horns, or so the saying goes.
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