BAGUIO CITY F – Mayor Mauricio Domogan on Monday called on the agencies concerned, schools and parents to monitor the activities of the youth and engage them in worthwhile activities to keep them away from all troubles including the “hypebeast” problem.
The mayor during the flag-raising ceremonies at City Hall asked the Baguio City Police Office, the schools, parents, barangays and the Office of the City Social Welfare Development to work together to put an end to the violent incidents involving youngsters, a few of which reportedly involved the hypebeast groups.
The mayor directed Police Director Ramil Saculles and OCWD Officer Betty Fangasan to trace all the members of the groups for the necessary interventions.
“Let’s trace them, call their parents and meet with them. I will personally meet and talk to them and hopefully I can help influence their thinking,” he said.
Saculles said there are seven hypebeast groups identified but not all of them are engaged in conflict.
He said that contrary to reports at the city council, there are only two cases attributed to the hypebeast and the situation is “not that alarming” and is “under control.”
He said the trouble is usually rooted in the clothing brands that the fashion-obsessed groups have apparently allocated for themselves.
“When they see other youth who are not members of their group wearing branded clothes, pants, jackets, or shoes that were not purchased from their leaders, they bully them and when these youth fight back, then violence erupts,” Saculles explained.
He said that since the police cannot charge these erring youth, the City can only subject them to profiling and counseling with their parents through the OCSWDO.
“The first line of defense here would be the parents by seeing to it that their children go to and come home from school in their uniforms and without any extra clothes that bear the brands of these groups. They must also refrain from buying their children these branded clothes if they can help it,” Saculles said.
Teachers will be the second line of defense, according to Saculles by ensuring that their students come and go to school in uniform.
“We have asked the schools to authorize their teachers to capture any extra clothes in possession of their students and turn them over to their parents,” he said.
He said the last line of defense would be monitoring them after school hours which the city police have been doing through mobile patrol units dispersing students converging in areas known as hangouts of these groups.
He added that if possible, parents should impose curfew on their children and prohibit them from hanging out after class hours.
Federico Martin, Department of Education Baguio Schools Division superintendent, and Marlon Angaga who attended the city council inquiry on the issue the other week assured that the schools are employing interventions to inform parents and students and to monitor and counsel those who are involved.
By Aileen P. Refuerzo