Author Topic: Dumaguete City DSWD rounds up Badjaos, orients them on anti-mendicancy laws  (Read 134 times)

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City DSWD rounds up Badjaos, orients them on anti-mendicancy laws

DUMAGUETE CITY, April 4 (PNA) -– The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) of Dumaguete City will step up efforts to curb mendicancy as they started taking Badjaos off the streets for profiling and orientation on anti-mendicancy laws.

CSWDO Chief Carola Alquero disclosed on Tuesday that more than 25 Badjaos, including adults and children, were rounded up Monday and brought to the CSWDO where they were fed and documented.

The Badjaos are a nomad tribe who primarily live off the streets, begging for money and food and bringing their young children, even infants, with them.

Alquero explained that the Badjaos were photographed, profiled and given name tags, as many share similar facial features which sometimes makes it hard for authorities to identify them.

A retired CSWDO officer, Tinang Jubela, and Atty. Conrado Concepcion II of the General Services Office were invited as interpreters as the Badjaos do not understand Cebuano but the Tausug dialect as they are from Mindanao.

A film showing was also held during the whole-day activity while the CSWDO also informed the Badjaos that it was unlawful to be begging in the streets, said Alquero.

Furthermore, the Badjaos were told that “using” their children in begging activities is also a violation of the law that protects the rights and welfare of children, Alquero added.

Alquero admits it is a repetitive problem of government, not only in Dumaguete, but in other areas in the country, where Badjaos thrive on begging.

It is also unfortunate that the city government does not have enough budget to house them and provide for food and other needs.

Furthermore, the Badjaos by nature are nomads and move from one place to another.

Two teams from the city’s Task Force and one team from the CSWDO carried out Monday’s rounding up of the Badjaos, who were allowed to leave later.

Meanwhile, Alquero disclosed that City Hall is planning to have the Badjaos taken off the streets again especially during the upcoming Dragon Boat Race this coming weekend as many people are flocking to Dumaguete from other places.

The initial plan is to house these Badjaos and other mendicants at the Dumaguete City High School gymnasium.

However, it is not clear yet whether this will pan out considering there is still no allocation to cover for expenses of the Badjaos and other beggars as City Councilor Michael Bandal has yet to find some budget for this, Alquero disclosed. (PNA)
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