Officials of Barangay San Miguel, one of the city’s largest barangays, have expressed concern over the growing number of minors in their area getting involved in petty crimes, substance abuse and gang wars.
Mary Joan Aljecera, a village officer in charge of the local council’s arm for women and children, told Palawan News they have been monitoring an increasing number of minors getting apprehended by their barangay tanods during late nights for various petty crimes including theft and inhalation of chemical substances.
The local council said they recently received video footages taken by a local resident of children about 13 to 15 years old inhaling adhesive sealant, a substance that simulates the effects of prohibited drugs.
Barangay San Miguel officials also said the children usually band in groups and were getting involved in fights with rival groups.
“Hindi lang iyan ang nairereport dito sa amin, ‘yung iba involved sa riot, theft incidents,” Aljecera said.
Aljecera also said that in most cases, minors who get into trouble with local authorities were those who belong to broken families or were neglected children.
Barangay secretary Prince Russel Gloriani said that have begun conducting dialogues with families and parents of neglected children.
“Kung minsan kasi, nasa magulang na din ang pagkukulang. Kami dito sa barangay, lahat na ng suporta ginagawa namin,” Gloriani said.