City to help mendicants toward self-reliance
The city council has approved Ordinance 44, s. 2023 or “The Developmental Approach on Mendicancy Ordinance of the City of Baguio” for the adoption of all possible support and services to be extended to mendicants, including plans and programs for their self-reliance and full human development towards their realization to be a productive member of the community.
The ordinance is in consonance with the mandates of Presidential Decree 1563, or the Mendicancy of 1978 for the provision of appropriate services to enable mendicants meet their basic needs and develop themselves as self-reliant persons; the international instruments and municipal laws for the government to address the underlying reasons of mendicancy and full realization of the rights of mendicants as human being; and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to address and eradicate po-verty as the underlying dri-ving factors for social acts, like mendicancy.
Based on data from the City Social Welfare and Development Office, most of those engaged in mendicancy are residents or those from other areas who have no means of livelihood, those displaced from their livelihood due to the pandemic; and are either persons with disability, senior citizens, and living alone.
Mendicant 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 himself to some lawful calling and instead uses begging as a means of living.
Through developmental approach, the apprehended mendicant shall be assessed personally, evaluated and identify the underlying reasons for his engagement in the act of mendicancy, adoption of appropriate interventions to address the push factor, and use of the programs and services of the offices engaged herein towards the full personal development of the mendicant into his integration as empowered member of the community.
“Rather than punitive action for violating the decree, it is an approach whereby the policies and programs meet the needs of the stakeholders, promote and protect their rights, manage social problems, and facilitate the optimal use of their opportunities, empowerment, and social inclusion.”
The ordinance also creates the Anti-Mendicancy Task Force chaired by the city mayor with members from the city council and various concerned local and national offices.
The task force shall monitor the implementation of the ordinance and evaluate the adopted plans and programs on mendicancy for its improvement in their re-planning and reprogramming.
There shall be a secretariat composed of two to three staff from the City Social Welfare and Development Office and offices of the city government engaged in mendicancy issues and concerns.
They shall perform the “day-to-day” work related on the implementation of the ordinance under regular supervision of the CSWDO head.
Under the ordinance, the city government shall consider the establishment of a center or facility for mendicants for their long-term personal development. For the short term, the city shall consider identifying facilities for the apprehended mendicants and those needing to be transported.
An amount of P500,000 shall be appropriated annually for the realization the identified plans and programs under the ordinance and shall be increased based on the required and prevailing needs.
The city council has approved Ordinance 45, s. 2023 for the amendment of Ordinance 116, s. 2019 or the “College Education Financial Assistance/Grant Program of the City Go-vernment of Baguio”.
The amendment is to increase the P6,000 education assistance to P8,000 in order for the grantees to cope with the increasing cost of li-ving and education expenses.
Under the ordinance, the educational financial assistance are given/granted to poor and underprivileged but deserving students to prepare and develop them to become exemplary future leaders with better lives, and to serve as role models in the community physically, mentally, socially, morally, and spiritually.
In addition, the ordinance has appropria-ted P20 million in the 2023 executive budget to fund the program with increase every year of P5 million upon the approval of the city council in anticipation of the increasing number of beneficiaries.
The city council through Resolution 270, s. 2023 has requested all established churches in the city to submit to the Traffic and Transportation Management Division-City Engineering Office their request for possible parking spaces near their churches.
The resolution stated among the issues being encountered by church/worship goers who use their private vehicles on worship days is the absence or lack of parking spaces or off-site parking which poses a serious problem that in some instances, vehicle owners take the risk of using a portion of the street or any open space available.
Further, the TTMD-CEO is tasked to conduct necessary study, survey, evaluation, and recommendation and to submit the result of their study to the city council for its guidance.
In Resolution 271, s. 2023, the city council has requested the TTMD-CEO to identify areas wherein allowed parking may be made along Kisad Road where church/worship goers can park on Sundays from 6 to 8 a.m.; 9 a.m. to noon.; and 5 to 6:30 p.m. and to provide appropriate parking signages thereat.
The office is also asked submit to the city council its final recommendations on the matter.
The city council in Resolution 288, s. 2023 has requested the Permits and Licensing Division, City Mayor’s Office to issue a 15 days probationary special permit to the concerned/affected vendors at Camp 7, Kennon Road, subject to compliance with all requirements.
The action is in consideration of the appeal of concerned/affected vendors from Camp 7, Kennon Road for them to be allowed to sell in a certain area within their barangay on May 15 to 31.
The resolution stated the probationary permit would allow the affected vendors to continue their livelihood while they are securing/processing the required recommendations from the City Buildings and Architecture Office and the Department of Public Works and Highways.