BAGUIO CITY, Sept. 17 (PIA) - - For the strict implementation of the country's anti - mendicancy law and to provide the needed assistance for mendicants in bringing them back to their families, the city government of Baguio has a created a task force for such purpose.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong thru an executive order created the Anti - Mendicancy Task Force led by the City Social Welfare and Development Office with the Office of Councilor Arthur Allad-iw, the Baguio City Police Office, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Department of the Interior and Local Government - Baguio, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Commission on Human Rights, Philippine Mental Health Association Baguio - Benguet, Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine Information Agrncy and the different bus companies operating in the city.
The Task Force members signed a Memorandum of Agreement at the City Hall on Thursday (September 12) for their respective roles and functions.
The functions of the task force are alingned with Presidential Decree 1563 or the Anti - Mendicancy law that calls for the establishment of an integrated system for the control and eradication of mendicancy, which is mainly to promote social justice, protection of life, property and dignity of the citizenry as mendicancy breeds crime, creates traffic hazards, endangers health and exposes mendicants to indignities and degradation.
Mendicants as defined in the decree refers to any person who has no visible and legal means of support or lawful employment and who is physically able to work but neglects to apply him/herself to some lawful calling and instead uses begging as a means of living.
Unfortunatly, there are also children and persons with disabilities who are being exploited or used for the purpose of collecting money or alms through mendicancy. This is also a concern for people with mental health or psychological problems living in the streets.
Magalong expressed the city government's gratitude to all the partners in such worthy undertaking of implementing the the anti mendicancy law, both for the welfare of the citizenry and those being exploited to become mendicants, as well as the other people living in the streets that need government interventions. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)