THE presence of young rugby and solvent sniffers in dimly-lit street corners not only in the metropolis but elsewhere remains a major concern of national and local government authorities.
But President Duterte is committed to rid the streets of the so-called “rugby and solvent kids,” many of them dirty, malnourished and half-naked, before his six-year presidency ends in 2022.
In fact, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the law enforcement arm of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), has launched a multi-pronged project aimed to solve the problem.
A brainchild of PDEA chair, Director-General Aaron N. Aquino, a retired police general, “Oplan: Sagip Batang Solvent” is also seen to address the increasing number of juvenile delinquents.
Today, it is no longer surprising to hear reports of drug-crazed youngsters, including minors, committing heinous crimes, like murder and rape, in various parts of the Philippines.
The program will cover street dwellers, who will be assessed, referred to proper institutions and admitted to Project Sagip Batang Solvent reformative center once identified as solvent users.
Specifically, the PDEA special program is designed to rescue street children hooked in sniffing solvent, provide them shelter, and conduct reformative and integrated interventions.
Doubtless, the government, through concerned state offices and agencies, is here to help our youngsters, boys and girls, who really want to become highly-productive citizens of the community.
And we, like other Filipinos, share the view of the PDEA chairman that there’s that urgent need to come up with intervention programs before the problem of “solvent children” gets out of hand.