62 street beggars nabbed In Cebu City
CEBU CITY—At least 62 people were arrested in separate operations by the local government on Monday for violating the city’s anti-mendicancy ordinance. Of these, four mendicants were issued citation tickets and were fined P1,000 each, according to Dr. Lucille Mercado, chair of the Cebu City Anti-Mendicancy Board.
The others underwent profiling and performed community service before they were released.
Mercado said among those arrested was a woman accompanying a blind person caught begging along Salinas Drive in Barangay Lahug. The woman had P1,600 in her bag, a gold necklace, a wristwatch and a pair of earrings.
A team composed from the city government has been deployed on the streets to apprehend beggars, street dwellers and carolers asking money from passengers of public utility vehicles as well as those giving alms or food to mendicants.
Mayor Michael Rama wanted to strengthen the implementation of City Ordinance No. 1631, or the anti-mendicancy measure, in line with his vision to make Cebu City like Singapore, known for its cleanliness, order and progress.
Under the ordinance enacted in 1996, giving or begging for alms in the streets is strictly prohibited. Penalty includes a fine of P1,000 or a four-hour community service.
City Ordinance No. 2304 also prohibits carolers who would wander city streets and board public vehicles. Penalty under this ordinance ranges from a fine of P500 to five days of imprisonment or eight hours of community service.
Mercado urged individuals or groups who want to help street dwellers to get in touch with the local nutrition council, social welfare office, or charitable institutions, including the church, so their assistance would reach those who are in need.
Government records showed that at least 700 families in Cebu City have been classified as mendicants or those who have no visible and legal means of support, and instead turn to begging as a means of livelihood. —NESTLE SEMILLA INQ
Cebu City to penalize begging, almsgiving
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