BAGUIO CITY The city government in coordination with other regional line agencies and law enforcement agencies will step up the anti-mendicancy campaign to curb the proliferation of beggars in the different parts of the city.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said the anti-mendicancy campaign will be applicable to all beggars who will be found in the city’s central business district so that there will be no complaints from some tribes that they are being singled out in the said efforts to curb the proliferation of beggars around the Summer Capital.
The intensified anti-mendicancy campaign was reached by city officials and representatives from regional line agencies and law enforcement agencies during an inter-agency meeting held at the mayor’s office Thursday afternoon to address the concerns in relation to the increasing number of Badjao beggars in the city.
City Social Welfare and Development Officer Betty Fangasan said that it seems that some influential people are behind the sudden increase in the number of Badjao beggars in the city considering that the minors that they have rounded up were fetched by able-bodied individuals who represented themselves as their relatives.
Aside from the Badjaos who had been rounded up in the central business district over the past several days, social workers and law enforcers will also apprehend the young children serving as taxi barkers along major streets in the city and the beggars roaming around the city in order to help reduce the number of beggars who have made begging as a lucrative trade.
The local chief executive ordered concerned government agencies and law enforcement units to heighten the campaign to apprehend the beggars and children being used as taxi barkers in order to reduce the number of beggars around the city and improve its image as a premier tourist destination that does not allow begging.
Moreover, personnel of the involved agencies should prioritize the rescue of children being used by their family members and relatives or syndicates to beg as a livelihood. These should then be immediately brought back to their places of origin.
For his part, Senior Superintendent George D. Daskeo, acting city director of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO), said law enforcers will continue to apprehend beggars around the city to be brought back to their families and such cycle will continue in order to help the city government curb the proliferation of mendicants.
The police official said that the operations of the police against beggars will be part of their duties and responsibilities.
Daskeo expressed confidence that the regularizing the arrests of mendicants roaming around the city will deter them from continuing with their modus operandi.
By Dexter A. See