DSWD: Don’t give alms to street beggars
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Saturday reiterated an appeal for people not to give alms to street beggars during the holiday season.
In a statement, Assistant Secretary Glenda Relova, DSWD spokesperson, gave assurance that the DSWD was working closely with other government agencies to address the problem of mendicancy, especially among indigenous peoples (IPs).
“Again, we are appealing to the public not to give alms,” she said.
“It would be better to direct our help to long-term programs that would provide a comprehensive help to our fellow citizens who are IPs and street children,” she added.
130 rounded up
The DSWD official made the appeal following the series of police operations rounding up a total of 130 street beggars in Quezon City and Bacolod City on Friday.
She expressed concern over reports about the influx of families belonging to Badjao and Aeta communities to urban areas, especially Metro Manila, to beg during the holidays.
These groups of tribal families are often seen roaming busy city roads, knocking on windows of passing vehicles and asking for Christmas presents.
Relova said motorists should resist the urge to give.
The DSWD is equipped with a program to provide refuge to these street dwellers, she said.
“Our centers are prepared to receive them,” Relova added.
She said the beggars would be given medical checkups, meals and hygiene kits at the DSWD.
Through its “Balik Probinsiya” program, the department also provides transportation aid, especially to IPs, to allow migrant beggars to return to their places of origin, Relova said.
She said DSWD workers in Metro Manila had referred three batches of IPs to the DSWD field office in Central Luzon, which helped the IPs return to their communities.
Relova said two more batches of Aetas were being sent home.
The DSWD would try to look for long-term solutions to IPs coming down from their remote communities to urban areas to beg.
Relova said the department was also seeking the help of transport groups in reporting groups of IPs or children from IP communities traveling to cities.
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