The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance adopting a city developmental approach to mendicancy, creating a task force, defining its functions and appropriating funds for the said purpose.
Under the proposed ordinance authored by Councilor Arthur Alad-iw, it shall be the policy of the city government to adopt a development approach on mendicancy geared towards developing their self-reliance and their full human development as members of the society.
Further, the local government shall exert all possibilities to extend support and services to the mendicants, including plans and programs geared towards their realization to be productive members of the community.
The ordinance created the Anti-mendicancy Task Force which shall be composed of the City Mayor as the Chairman and the Chairperson of the City Council Committee on Persons with Disabilities, Chairperson of the City Council Committee on Social Services, Head of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) or his duly authorized representative, Head of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) or his duly authorized representative, Head of the Department of Social Welfare and Development–Cordillera or his duly authorized representative, Head of the Department of Trade and Industry–Cordillera or his duly authorized representative, Head of the Department of the Interior and Local government–Cordillera or his duly authorized representative, Head of the Philippine Mental Health Association–Baguio-Benguet chapter or his duly authorized representative, Head of the Commission on Human Rights–Cordillera or his duly authorized representative, Head of the City Social Welfare and Development Office or her duly authorized representative, head of the city Health Services office or her duly authorized representative, Head of the Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office or his duly authorized representative, Head of the Baguio city Cooperative and Development Office or his duly authorized representative, president of the Liga ng mga Barangay and representatives of the frequented barangays in the central business district, representatives from the association of bus companies in the city, representatives from the federation of persons with disabilities in the city and representatives from non-government organizations.
Among the functions of the said task force include to adopt, implement, monitor and evaluate plans and programs the policies and objectives of the measure; adopt and implement the integrated network of appropriate services to mendicants; coordinate and facilitate with the offices in the local government, other government agencies, and the private sector for the immediate support services to the mendicants; institutionalize a center of communication and data of mendicants including the compilation of documents such as plans and programs related to mendicants; mobilize and sustain citywide information education campaign and perform other functions necessary or incidental to the realization of the measure.
The ordinance stipulated that an amount of P500,000 shall be appropriated from the annual budget of the local government for the realization of the prescribed city developmental approach on mendicancy. It shall be increased based on the needs to realize the plans and programs identified in the measure and that to be adopted by the task force.