Mandaue to tighten drive vs beggars, dispatchers

Mandaue City Hall
Mandaue City Hall (File photo: Mandaue City Public Information Office)

THE Mandaue City Council has urged the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) and the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team) to strictly enforce ordinances prohibiting mendicancy and dispatchers or barkers from soliciting passengers and drivers of Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs).

In an interview on Monday, May 13, 2024, City Councilor Jennifer del Mar said concerned citizens had lodged complaints with the council about the resurgence of mendicants and dispatchers in the city.

To address these concerns, a resolution addressed to MCPO and Team was approved Monday. It was authored by del Mar and co-authored by councilors Jimmy Lumapas and Oscar del Castillo Jr.

Del Mar said mendicancy and dispatching, or any form of soliciting from passengers and drivers of PUVs, are prohibited by the City Government through City Ordinances 12-2011-639 and 09-2002-098.

City Ordinance 12-2011-639 prohibits and penalizes giving to and soliciting by mendicants in public places or business establishments. It also led to the creation of the Mandaue City Anti-Mendicancy Board.

Non-residents

Del Mar said most mendicants are not residents of Mandaue City.

Excerpts from the resolution state that discouraging mendicancy is highly recommended as it will indirectly benefit mendicants by encouraging them to seek job and livelihood opportunities to support themselves and their families.

It also aims to eradicate the exploitation of children, as in most cases, parents or other adults send them to the streets to engage in mendicancy.

“We have seen an increase in their numbers on the streets. Before, we sent them back to their hometowns, but they have returned,” del Mar said in Cebuano.

“Someone [a mendicant] was nearly run over by a jeepney while begging on the road. There are also times when they board jeepneys and give out solicitation letters or something inside their envelopes,” she added.

The official said reports indicate these mendicants are often seen in Barangay Maguikay, but they are present throughout the city.

Del Mar said they are prioritizing the safety of these mendicants, who are at high risk for accidents due to their presence on highways and streets.

MCPO and Team personnel will rescue them and send them back to their hometowns.

Dispatchers

Regarding dispatchers, also known as barkers, del Mar said this practice is not allowed in the city.

She said there were instances when these dispatchers asked passengers waiting for PUVs and even drivers for money in exchange for assistance with parking or disembarking from a designated or pay-parking area.

“We will strictly implement the ordinance,” del Mar said.

She said passengers and drivers were often forced to give money to dispatchers against their will, which is akin to extortion.

Del Mar added that if these mendicants and barkers were residents, the city government could offer them assistance through livelihood programs and job applications.

However, she urged the public to avoid giving money to mendicants or barkers, as this would only encourage them. / EHP

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