Rescued street dwellers to undergo livelihood training
CEBU CITY –– Instead of giving fish, teach them how to fish.
The Cebu City government has decided to provide livelihood training to street dwellers and mendicants, who were rounded up by authorities last week, so they could stand on their own feet.
Mayor Edgardo Labella has instructed the Department of Manpower Development and Placement (DMDP) to teach people who once lived on the streets how to earn money other than begging.
“Those who are trainable can avail of the livelihood training program,” he said.
Authorities rounded up at least 324 street dwellers and mendicants in this city in a “One Time, Big Time” operation last week.
Labella called on government law enforcement offices to regularly conduct operations to make sure street dwellers and mendicants would not go back to their old ways of earning money.
He admonished those who would return to the city streets to beg for money that they would face charges for violating the city’s Anti-Mendicancy Ordinance.
“This has been a decades-old problem of the city government. During my watch, I want to reduce the number of these people if we cannot eradicate them,” he said.
Labella will also coordinate with the church to help concerned individuals understand that they need to go back to their homes instead of staying on the sidewalks.
The mayor said street dwellers had become a grave concern, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Raquel Arce, chief of the city’s Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification, and Enhancement, said all those “rescued” were brought to the Plaza Independencia in downtown Cebu City for medical examination to find out whether or not they are suffering from any illness.
The Department of Social Welfare and Services was tasked to facilitate the return of these street dwellers to their hometowns.
Col. Josefino Ligan, director of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said police and barangay officials would monitor the movements of street dwellers to prevent them from returning to the city to beg.
“We want to do this (round up) regularly so there won’t be any dwellers on the streets,” he said.###