Solon calls for probe on the increasing number of ‘solvent boys’

ALARMED over the increasing number of the so-called ‘solvent boys’ who are engaged in criminal activities in the main thoroughfares in Metro Manila and other urban centers, a lawmaker has called for a congressional inquiry.

Rep. Mark Villar (Lone District, Las Piñas City) said the increasing number of solvent boys has resulted in an increased incidence of crime.

He cited the so-called ‘Hamog Boys’ along EDSA Guadalupe and other main streets of Metro Manila who prey on unsuspecting motorists.

Villar said these juveniles attack their prey during rush hour. “One or two of them would bang the trunk or hood of a car to get the driver’s attention then the rest would open the door and steal any valuables in sight before running away,” Villar said.

Villar filed House Resolution 2535 urging the House Committee on Public Order and Security to summon all concerned agencies of the government to come up with a remedial measure to address the issue.

Villar said the government should take steps to prevent the current situation of drug addiction and to regulate the use of addictive substances.

He urged Congress to pass a law to penalize people who illegally sell solvents and other addictive substances to children.

According to Villar, rugby and other dangerous substances are
considered as controlled precursors under Republic Act 9165.
“Once rugby is inhaled, it goes directly to the blood then flows through the brain which causes damage to the nervous system,” he said.

Villar said inhalants could be ordinary household products such as household cleaners, cooking sprays, fabric protectors, paint thinner and most of all, adhesives and solvents.

Inhalants, Villar said, cause nausea, blurred vision, memory lapses and motor loss. ”This could result in damage of vital organs such as the liver, kidneys, the brain and the heart,” he said.

Aside from solvent and rugby, inhalants consist of cough syrups, followed by marijuana and shabu.

“In many cases, street children are taking marijuana and shabu as often as a daily intake of rugby,” Villar said.

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