PERSONNEL of Task Force Ordinance rounded up last week 18 mendicants, as the local government, through the City Administrator's Office, is implementing Ordinance 351, which establishes an integrated system to prevent mendicancy in Zamboanga City.
Assistant City Administrator Cesar Raz said the apprehended mendicants, mostly minors, were turned over to the City Social Welfare and Development Office.
Under Ordinance 351, mendicants refer to any persons who habitually solicit and beg for a living and have no visible and legal means of support and lawful means of employment either physically fit or persons with disability.
The ordinance also penalizes any persons who abet mendicancy by giving financial assistance directly to the mendicants except those authorized by the city mayor.
Violating this provision shall be fined P2,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court, the ordinance stated.
A fine of P5,000 and/or imprisonment shall also be imposed on any persons who utilize, use, exploit any minor, disabled, sick with infirmity in mendicancy. (SunStar Zamboanga)