From the global perspective, the trend has been overly protective of children’s rights and welfare, with our country likewise pursuing it. Plenty of laws had been passed ensuring that children are properly attended to, their rights upheld at all times, their future secured through education and health care.
But certain local practices remain abusive and unfriendly to children. And no one even seems to bother trying to correct these. Just because they have been traditionally done, and are done in keeping with our age-old culture of having children give way to the comfort of adults, we all tend to accept these as protocol.
One glaring example to this is the way children are treated in passenger jeepneys. These poor children are only allowed to sit when there are yet vacant seats. But when some adults board the vehicles, children occupying some seats are made to stand to give way to their adult rivals. In this congestion inside the vehicle, children have to bear with various standing positions, swayed to different directions when the jeepneys start to run.
This results not only in a very uncomfortable body posture but also in risky positions for the kids. Unable to brace themselves well for the vehicle’s motions, they sometimes bump their heads against the steel handles above. At times, they are thrown to different directions inside, hitting the rest of the passengers with their bodies.
Normally, it is the drivers or their assistants who oblige children to stand up and give way to adult passengers, the reason being that children are exempted from paying the fare. Their parents refuse to do that. And if these children will occupy seats despite their free rides, the drivers and their helpers will be at a loss. Somehow, these people have a point. But just because their argument makes sense doesn’t mean children should continually be exposed to risks.
This calls for actions from our local lawmakers. They should come out with ordinances that would address this situation. It’s not yet too late as of the moment. This abusive treatment should be stopped before serious problems will arise.
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