TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Cagayan Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Helen Donato told the public not to give donations to street beggars and other mendicants, stressing that this is prohibited by law.
“Wag nang bigyan [ang mga mendicants]. Yan ang lagi kong sinasabi. Bakit kasi nagbibigay kayo? So mamimihasa sila [at] mamimilit pa [na manglimos]. Yung iba may kasama pang nanay, lola, o bata,” Donato said on Monday, February 12.
Donato said some beggars in Tuguegarao City have been identified as residents of nearby Solana town. She said the beggars were once encouraged to go back and were advised to stop mendicancy.
“Meron kasing ibang [mendicants na] matitigas ang ulo kasi [it’s] easy money. Pupunta pa sila sa loob ng mga kabahayan, namimilit na magbigay [ka] kahit bigas na lang [at] kung walang bigas sapatos,” she said.
Th PSWDO chief said they continue to remind barangay officials to advise their constituents to stop resorting to begging or mendicancy.
Donato said they are also talking with municipal social welfare and development officers (MSWDO) and social workers in an attempt to address this problem.
Presidential Decree 1563 or the Anti-Mendicancy Law has been in effect since 1978.
The law, signed by then-President Ferdinand Marcos, aimed to “control and eradicate mendicancy,” provide penalty to mendicants, and prevent exploitation of children.
Under this law, those caught giving money to mendicants are also fined P20 or less.
Despite the law, beggars continue to roam streets and even increase in number during holiday season. Northernforum.net