Abandoned Buildings Become Popular Venues for IlIegal Drug Ativities in Manila
Every time I come home from work or business meetings, I usually pass by a number of streets with abandoned houses and buildings that are known venues for illegal drug activities. These places are known to the police and local authorities.
A few hours ago after midnight, I witnessed several teenage boys and girls inside an abandoned five storey building right beside our community church. This building is not energized and therefore there are no lights to illuminate the interiors of the building. What are these teenagers doing inside? Obviously they are engaging in intimate relationships after taking some illegal drugs. While under the influence of drugs, they disturb the peace in the neighborhood with their shouting and petty quarrels. These teenagers normally belong to families with broken homes. In some cases, their parents are migrant workers who are out of reach in some foreign countries, leaving behind their children unattended in their growing up years.
These typical venues for illegal drugs are found in many areas of Metro Manila. Other than abandoned buildings, other venues include vacant lots, public parks and vacant houses, among others.
These illegal drug activities are obviously known to the local government units and the police. When concerned citizens report these activities to the local police, they will, in most instances, just disperse these teenagers and advise them to vacate and go home. The police and other local authorities are helpless in enforcing the law on these young kids. First of all, the police and the local authorities (Barangay) do not have holding facilities for these teenage offenders. Secondly, the law on young offenders is very liberal in this country, simply because they are minors and they should not be jailed for whatever crime they commit. Parents are supposed to take care of them and to make sure that they are attending school and engaging in productive activities.
The Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD) is the government agency that is tasked to look after the welfare of minors who are victims of circumstances that are caused mostly by irresponsible parents. But because there are thousands of minor offenders, mostly drug addicts and pickpockets, the agency cannot provide the needed assistance to all of them. The usual reason is the lack of personnel, facilities and funding.
With many documented cases of criminality occurring in these abandoned structures in many places of Metro Manila and elsewhere in the country, the local government units are expected by the peace-loving residents of these communities to find ways and means to discourage these teenagers from using these abandoned structures as venue for illegal activities. Some peace-loving residents of Quezon City, are calling the attention of the city officials in finding a way to isolate these structures by calling on their private owners to provide security and to make improvements on these abandoned properties.
Tags: Crime , Peace And Order , Government , Drugs , Society
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