CH guidelines on street dwellers’ program out
(The Freeman) - January 23, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City acting mayor Edgardo Labella has issued an executive order setting guidelines in the implementation of the city government’s program on Sustainable Poverty Reduction and Economic Alleviation and Development (SPREAD).

Labella’s order has institutionalized SPREAD for Better Life Office that will serve as coordinating center to address the concerns of the underprivileged such as night dwellers, street children, street carolers, and mentally-ill persons, among others.

“The proliferation of street dwellers and informal settlers is one of the major causes of the rising cases of mendicancy, vagrancy, jeepney dispatching and caroling, and other problems usually associated with poverty. There is a need to address the plight of these street dwellers and informal settlers,” read Labella’s executive order.

The SPREAD office has been existing under the Office of the Mayor but its organizational structure and functions were not clearly defined.

The acting mayor has seen the importance of the office to perform especially that the city, being a highly-urbanized metropolis, attracts more migrants from other places looking for better livelihood opportunities.

Labella cited in his order Section 16 of the Local Government Code of 1991 that compels the Local Government Unit to discharge the powers necessary or incidental for the promotion of the general welfare.

Section 17 of the same law also provides that every local government unit is directed to exercise functions such as providing basic services that include community-based rehabilitation programs for vagrants, beggars, street children, scavengers, and other pro-poor projects.

“In the exercise of such powers and in the discharge of such duties, it is necessary to establish an office that shall function as a center of coordination of departments, offices and agencies involved in addressing the social concerns,” the order stated.

The role of the “SPREAD for Better Life Office” is to coordinate with other departments and agencies whose functions serve the same particularly on street dwellers. This is to ensure that basic services are delivered by the concerned government entities.

Among the functions specified for the office to perform include: (a) ensure the enforcement of policies attending to the issues involving street hazards and nuisances; (b) ensure the implementation of the plans and programs intended for the street dwellers; (c) formulate strategies for the effective implementation of the local measures concerning street dwellers; and (d) conduct regular monitoring of areas identified as “street hazards.”

The office will be managed by an executive director who will be responsible for managing the daily activities as well as supervising the employees in its daily operations, among other tasks.

The operations officer will supervise the deployment of field workers for the daily “reach out” operations as well as facilitate the proper turnover of the rescued street dwellers, street children, street carolers, and mentally-ill persons. — May B. Miasco/FPL (FREEMAN)

ACIRC BETTER LIFE OFFICE CEBU CITY DWELLERS EDGARDO LABELLA LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIT MAY B OFFICE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR STREET
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