CEBU City’s Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) wants to strengthen the implementation of a local ordinance that will prohibit the giving of alms to street beggars.
DSWS Chief Lea Japson said they will bring personnel from the Cebu City Environmental and Sanitation Enforcement Team (Ceset) who will issue citation tickets to those who will give any money in the streets.
“It’s really hard to solve the problem on street dwellers. We give them livelihood programs, but they’re hesitant to accept it because they wanted to be on the streets because it’s easy for them to ask money from the public. So, we will strengthen the policy on anti-mendicancy,” she told SunStar Cebu in a phone interview.
Japson believes that street dwellers continue to occupy the streets because of people giving them money.
City Ordinance (CO) 1631, also known as the Anti-Mendicancy Ordinance, “prohibits and penalizes the giving to and soliciting by mendicants of cash or material goods in public places, buildings and offices, as well as in any business or commercial establishment.”
Under CO 1631, a minimum penalty of P500 or community service will be imposed on those who violate the measure.
Since Monday, 180 individuals who live on the streets were rescued by a joint body from several government agencies, including the City Government and the Women and Children Desk of the Cebu City Police Office, among others in preparations for the meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
They’re temporarily taking shelter inside the old building of the City Abattoir.
The City has P3.6 million for the comprehensive program for street dwellers from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, which Japson said may be used for projects that will benefit the homeless.
Local militants slammed yesterday the Asean, describing the organization as a lapdog of the imperialist United States and China.
Jaime Paglinawan of Bayan Central Visayas led at least 30 protestors in staging a rally outside a hotel near the port area in Cebu City.
“Dili moproteher ang China, dili moproteher ang US sa Pilipinas kay ilang interes ilang negosyo (China will not protect us, the US won’t protect the Philipines because their interests are in their businesses),” he said.
He said these countries want to control the economies of smaller countries for their own good. He said government should be independent and not swayed by their influences.
“Dili sila gusto nga kita ma-industralisa (They don’t want us to industrialize),” Paglinawan said.
The militants also urged Asean members Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam to stand against China and call for their exit from the West Philippine Sea.
The meetings in Cebu started last Tuesday and will end tomorrow.
Militants want also the end of a labor export policy, flexible labor policy, the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.
The protest happened when Police Regional Office-Central Visayas Director Noli Taliño oversaw his Civil Disturbance Management personnel in a drill on how to conduct themselves during a protest action.
“We will always observe maximum tolerance,” he said.
Cebu City Police Office Director Joel Doria said the protest lasted for about 15 minutes and no untoward incident happened.