By Jose Santino Bunachita
Staff Member

KALUNASAN, Cebu City (December 19, 2022) Children in Conflict with the Law here at the Operation Second Chance Center (OSCC) have a common wish this Christmas – to be reunited with their families.

Queenie just want things to return to the way they were, when she spent Christmas happily with her family. (PIO/Allan Cuizon)

They may have once lost their way, but these children have been slowly realizing that they can still have a bright future ahead.

Queenie (real name withheld), 17, had a sweet smile on her face after their group’s dance presentation.

When asked how she got herself in trouble with the law, she candidly said, “Sige ko og pabuto ug armas. ‘Nya gun ban to.” She was apprehended last May 5, 2022.

Queenie said that she bought illegal firearms since she admitted that she had been involved in selling illegal drugs in Barangay Inayawan. Queenie ran away from their home in Barangay Quiot when she was still 13 years old. Since then, she has been up to no good.

At the Operation Second Chance, the residents have the opportunity to continue their school via the government’s Alternative Learning System. ((PIO/Allan Cuizon)

When her parents learned that she was apprehended, they immediately visited her at the OSCC.

“Gibisita ko nila. Naulaw gyud ko. Nagpasalamat ko nga naa sila gihapon para nako. Ila ko giingnan nga pag-usab na, pagbinut-an na. Kay para inag-laya nako, makabalik ko sa amoa,” she said.

The Operation Second Chance facility gives minors the opportunity to reform themselves and earn another shot at a normal life. (PIO/Allan Cuizon)

In her seven months at the OSCC, Queenie had enrolled in the Alternative Learning System (ALS). Now, she looks forward to finishing her studies when she is free, and to take up Criminology.

“Wish nako karong Pasko nga makakita kos ako pamilya ug akong mga pag-umangkon. Wish nako permi sila nga safe ug maayo ang panglawas,” she said.

Wish nako karong Pasko nga makakita kos ako pamilya ug akong mga pag-umangkon. Wish nako permi sila nga safe ug maayo ang panglawas.

“Queenie, a resident of Operation Second Chance

Queenie is among the 98 residents of the City Government’s OSCC, which is under the supervision of the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS).

The residents celebrated their humble Christmas Party today.

DSWS Head Dr. Ester Concha, who attended the activity, encouraged the residents to not give up on their future.

Dr. Concha. (PIO/Allan Cuizon)

“Ayaw isulod sa inyong hunahuna kani inyong pagka naa dinhi, maka-hinder sa inyong kaugmaon. Mga batan-on pa mo. Daghan pa og oportunidad sa gawas,” she said.

The residents performed several dance presentations in front of Dr. Concha and other city officials who attended their party.

They even performed the Singapore-like Cebu City jingle of Mayor Mike Rama.

For 17-year-old Rizza (real name withheld), her time in the OSCC helped her discover her talents.

“Sa gawas, di nako mapagawas akong talent. Maulaw ko. Sukad naa ko diri, confident na ko. Mokanta ko, mosayaw ko,” she said.

Rizza credits her stay at Operation Second Chance to her gaining confidence in dancing and singing skills. (PIO/Allan Cuizon)

Rizza was apprehended in September 2021 in their home in Barangay Calamba when she was alleged to be in possession of illegal drugs.

While in the OSCC, she also enrolled in the ALS. She also underwent skills training on hairdressing and sewing.

“Ang akong wish karong Pasko, makauban na nako akong mama ug makaila na nako akong papa. Good health pud sa ako pamilya,” Rizza said. #