July 23, 2024

Councilor Arthur Allad-iw said the city government should adopt a “developmental” approach on mendicancy to restore the sense of self-reliance of the beggars in the city and to help them fully reintegrate into society.
With this goal in mind, Allad-iw has introduced a proposed ordinance which, if and when approved, would be called “Developmental Approach to Mendicancy Ordinance of the City of Baguio.”
The proposed ordinance was anchored in Presidential Decree 1563 or the Mendicancy Law of 1978 and Executive Order 097 issued by Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
The Mendicancy Law of 1978 recognizes the need to “provide appropriate services to enable mendicants to meet their basic needs and develop themselves as self-reliant persons.”
Meanwhile, EO 097 created the Anti-Mendicancy Task Force to address the growing number of individuals engaged in mendicancy in the city.
Allad-iw said based on the data of the Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), some mendicants in the city come from other places.
He proposed the city government should consider the establishment of a center or facility for mendicants for their long-term personal development and identify a facility to house mendicants that need to be transported.
Under the ordinance, an anti-mendicancy task force shall be created consisting of concerned city officials, city department heads, and the heads or representatives of the Baguio City Police Office, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera, Department of Trade and Industry- CAR, Department of the Interior and Local Government Baguio, Philippine Mental Health Association Baguio-Benguet Chapter, Commission on Human Rights-CAR, associations of bus companies in the city, Federation of the Persons with Disability in the city, and non-government organizations.
Among the functions of the task force are to adopt, implement, monitor, and evaluate plans and programs that shall realize the policies and objectives of the ordinance, PD 1563, including international instruments or policies geared toward the rehabilitation or personal development of mendicants;
Adopt and implement the integrated network of appropriate services to mendicants based on their assessment and feasibility needs as identified by the task force and the secretariat;
Coordinate and facilitate with the offices in the city government, other concerned government agencies, and the private sector for the immediate support services to the mendicants;
Institutionalize a center of communication and data of mendicants including the compilation of documents such as plans and programs related to mendicants; and
Mobilize and sustain city-wide information and education campaigns in coordination with concerned government agencies and the private sector for the self-development of mendicants.
A secretariat shall likewise be formed consisting of three CSWDO personnel and other concerned city government offices. 
Supervised by the CSWDO head, the secretariat shall institutionalize a database for all mendicants in the city; safekeep all documents related to mendicancy in the city; prepare minutes, communications and documentation of meetings of the task force; and help facilitate the programs and services for the mendicants; among others.
The city government shall appropriate an initial amount of P500,000 yearly for the implementation of the ordinance. The amount shall increase as the need arises.
The proposed ordinance has been approved on first reading and referred to the city council committee on social services, women, and urban poor. – Jordan G. Habbiling