DEPARTMENT of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo is advocating for have a gift giving for Badjao mendicants instead of the public giving alms.
Taguiwalo said the department is considering gathering migrant Badjao’s and asked the public to direct their donations either in cash or in kind to the DSWD.
The plans for the Yuletide gathering will be discussed by the regional office with possible stakeholders in the city.
Taguiwalo is in the city for a DSWD National Management and Development Conference gathering regional directors for a convergence in preparation for 2017 programs.
DSWD CAR regional director Janet Armas said the problem of the Badjao’s has been recurring which has been coming by the busloads.
The group has been frequenting the city sporadically over the course of the year preferring to beg when peak season occurs, taking advantage of the deluge of tourists.
The DSWD reports the Badjao problem is perennial in Baguio, including Regions 3 and 4.
This year, Armas said the group has been sent home by the department at least five times now aboard buses and individuals have been given fare to go home through the Balik Probinsya program, however, the group has chosen to come back to the city.
During the DSWD conference, the problem was addressed by the directors to formulate strategies to help the Badjao group.
This year, the City Social welfare office brought the Badjao group to the Regional Haven for Girls and Women of the DSWD in the region and were transferred to relocation sites in Pampanga and Tarlac but eventually returned.
Armas said there is no breakdown of the number of the Badjao’s in the City.