April 17, 2024

Fifteen adult and two minor Badjaos were rounded up last Sept. 13 by personnel of the Baguio City Police Office and City Social Welfare and Development Office and sent home to Angeles, Pampanga after finding them begging along city streets.
The CSWDO provided cash assistance intended as transportation expenses for the 17 individuals and sent them home through public transport.
According to CSWDO Officer-in-Charge Liza Bulayungan, the act put teeth into Presidential Decree 1563 or the Anti-Mendicancy Law of 1978, where a “person with no visible and legal means or support or legal employment, is physically able to work but neglects to apply to some lawful calling and instead begging as a means of living.”
The law also deems begging as punishable for all mendicants and exploited children eight years old and below.   
Bulayungan said the Badjaos were profiled by their office and oriented on the city’s policy against begging, thus should be prevented from traveling to Baguio and beg for financial support.
The local government of Angeles, Pampanga was also sent a letter for update and reiteration of social services extension to their citizens. A continuing monitoring and provision of social services will also be done, Bulayungan said.
Beggars would frequent the city’s main streets and transfer location when prevented by social workers or policemen. They also go to other venues or to neighboring communities but would come back, Bulayungan said.
In 2019, Mayor Benjamin Magalong ordered the creation of an anti-mendicancy task force composed of the CSWDO and BCPO, office of Councilor Arthur Allad-iw, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Commission on Human Rights, Philippine Mental Health Association, Department of Trade and Industry, and Philippine Information Agency. – Julie G. Fianza