CALAMBA CITY, Laguna – A photo of a baby sleeping in a sewerage pipe in Calamba is making the rounds online.
The picture was taken and uploaded on Thursday (Sept. 16) by Jefferson Nazareno, who happened to pass by the area on his way to the hospital where his relative was being treated.
“Napansin kong may bata sa ilalim ng tulay, sa bunganga ng imburnal pero di ko sure kong sanggol o manika. (I noticed the baby under the bridge, in the opening of the sewerage pipe, but I wasn’t sure if it was a baby or a doll),” Nazareno told the Manila Bulletin.
“Napansin ko sanggol talaga, kaya pinikturan ko. Inupload ko sa Facebook, nanawagan na matulungan dahil sa nakaabang panganib, baka umulan at maanod yung bata (I noticed that it’s a real baby, so I took a picture. I uploaded it on Facebook and called for help because if it rains, the baby might be swept by the waters),” he continued.
As much as he wanted to go down the bridge to get the baby, Nazareno said he was in a hurry because he had to complete the requirements for his relative’s medical operation.
Upon hearing the news, the city’s Public Order and Safety Office (POSO), together with police officers, conducted a rescue operation. When they arrived at the site, the authorities found the baby’s parents in the area.
The parents alleged that they didn’t leave the baby and that they were just a few yards away, selling sampaguita (jasmine) garlands.
“Ipinamukha natin sa kanila ‘yung danger na kinaharap ng bata, considering na pandemic ngayon (We made them realize the danger faced by their child, considering that we’re in a pandemic),” POSO Head Jeffrey Rodriguez told the Manila Bulletin.
“Kung iniwan nga talaga ‘yung bata doon, what if biglang umulan? Kung hindi man tubig, ‘yung mga insekto, dengue, makagat ng daga. (If they really left the baby there, what if it rains? If not water, there’s the danger of insects, dengue, even rats),” Rodriguez added.
After receiving stern reminders from the authorities, the parents were allowed to go home with their baby.