In preparation for Sinulog DSWS clears streets from mendicants
Odessa O. Leyson (The Freeman) - January 19, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — In order to clear the streets from dwellers and beggars, the Cebu City’s Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) has intensified its “rescue operation” due to the Sinulog celebration.


Anti-Mendicancy Operations Head Jesusa Berido told The FREEMAN that they want to free the streets from any dwellers so that the celebration will be orderly and safe.

Berido’s team saw the need to strengthen the rescue operation after observing that street dwellers will normally flock to the city because of the fiesta celebration.

“Para hapsay ug limpyo ang atoang pagselebrar, unya safety pud ang atong mga katawhan sa ilang pagpanglakaw sa atong kadalanan,” she said.

Since January 10, they have already rescued 22 individuals, 12 of them are adults and 10 of them are minors.

They are rescued from the uptown and downtown areas of the city.

Those who were rescued are currently sheltered at the Community Scout Youth Guidance Center and at the Parian Drop-in Center.

“Amo gyud nang regular na trabaho ang pag-roving ug pag-monitor sa atong mga mendicants, street dwellers, dili lang sa panahon sa atong kapistahan sa Siyudad sa Sugbo,” Berido said.

Record indicate that from January to December 2018, they rescued at least 1, 476 street dwellers and are sheltered at the centers.

During the rescue operations, the DSWS teams will gather basic information of the street dwellers that include the name, age, and address, among others, for the profiling.

The rescue operations are in coordination with the Task Force for Street Children, Women’s and Children Desk of the Cebu City Police Office, barangay officials, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

For those who are not native of the city, the DSWS will send them back to their respective hometown through the program dubbed as “Balik Probinsya Program.”

Every now and then, the team will randomly roam around the city to rescue dwellers in various streets.

“This is (for) the reinforcement and implementation of the Cebu City Ordinance No. 1631 or the Anti-Mendicancy Ordinance. We give interventions to rescued clients based on their needs to alleviate their problems as part of the mission of the ordinance,” Berido said.

Her office is the implementing body of the ordinance which “prohibits and penalizes the giving to and soliciting by mendicants of cash or material goods in public places, buildings and offices, as well as in any business or commercial establishment.” — GAN (FREEMAN)

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