BACOLOD City Administrator John Orola urged the anti-mendicancy task force to regulate the Badjaos to stop them from loitering around the city.
Orola said Wednesday, Novemebr 22, the task force should intensify their monitoring to reach the Badjaos especially those who are asking alms on the streets and on jeepneys.
“We should do our part to address this problem because Badjaos are now everywhere,” he said.
Orola said he will meet with the members of the task force this week.
He added that the task force should strictly implement City Ordinance No. 146, Series of 2005, or the ordinance establishing an integrated program for regulating mendicancy.
Those who will be caught giving alms will be fined P50.
The anti-mendicancy law forbids begging or soliciting of charitable donations by the poor or religious organizations in the streets.
The Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD) had earlier urged the public not to give alms to Badjaos.
Pacita Tero, head of DSSD, said that if the public will not give them alms, they will not stay in the city and will return to their hometowns.
In previous years, the DSSD facilitated the return of the Badjaos to their hometowns, but after a month, they returned in Bacolod.
Most Badjaos are asking for alms on streets, jeepneys, and residential areas, and using their babies for begging.
“Bacoleños are generous, but we should not tolerate them because we also put their lives in danger especially those doing caroling in jeepneys and streets,” Tero said.
Tero added that the task force is doing its job, but they lack of facilities to take custody of the Badjaos.