Solvent-sniffing kids

January 13, 2019

THE government has put in place practical programs of action aimed at addressing the problem of “solvent” boys and girls not only in the metropolis but also in other parts of the Philippines.

Through concerned government offices and agencies, the authorities are determined to help these wayward “street children,” who spend their nights in dark alleys and busy pavements.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the law enforcement arm of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), will soon launch a nationwide project designed to save the so-called “solvent children.”

PDEA Director-General Aaron N. Aquino, a retired one-star police general, said “Sagip Batang Solvent” (SBS) project will rescue these street kids and transform them into future productive Filipinos.

He said the primary objectives of SBS are: save children involved in illegal drugs (CIIDs); provide shelter/facility to CIIDs; provide reformative and integrated interventions to CIIDs; and develop resistance to drug use among CIIDs.

Rescued “batang solvent,” aged 10 years old and below, will be housed in a pilot reformation center, which is set to be established at a rented facility in Quezon City, according to the PDEA.

Aquino asked: “Aren’t we afraid of waking up one day in a country already gobbled up by illegal drug activities?”

The chief architect of the project, Aquino noted that many thoroughfares of Metropolitan Manila, the country’s premier region, are teeming with solvent-sniffing young boys and girls.

Certainly, the sight of children, many of them out-of-school youngsters (OSYs), sniffing solvent not only in the metropolis but elsewhere is saddening, disgusting and lamentable.

But with the launching of the multi-pronged project, we have high hopes that PDEA will succeed in ridding this manpower-exporting Third World nation of “solvent boys and girls.”