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Giving alms to child beggars is forbidden — police

By: Emmariel Ares - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | June 14,2024 - 08:24 PM

child beggars

Police Lieutenant Colonel Janette Rafter, Deputy Director for Operations of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) | Emmariel Ares

CEBU CITY, Philippines – An official of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) reminds the public to refrain from giving alms to child beggars and obey the Anti-Mendicancy Law.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Janette Rafter, CCPO Deputy Director for Operations, relayed this message to reporters on Friday, June 14, 2024.

Presidential Decree No. 1563 or the “Mendicancy Law of 1978” aims to prevent the commission of mendicancy and the exploitation of infants and child beggars through it.

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The law defines a mendicant as a person who “neglects to apply himself to some lawful calling and instead uses begging as a means of living” in spite of being physically able.

According to the decree, minors found to be used for mendicancy purposes shall be committed to the custody of child placement agencies.   

In recent times, it has become evident that the activity of young children begging for money has been increasing in Cebu City.

Everyday, multiple child beggars are rescued by law enforcers off the streets.

In light of this, Rafter reminded the public that this rise shows that many individuals continue to beg because they are able to collect money through the practice no matter if it is illegal.

She advised residents to obey the Anti-Mendicancy Law.

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“As much as kabalo gyud ta nga sa atong kasingking, tawo gyud ta nga nga maluoy ta og bata. But unfortunately, we have to be reminded of our Anti-Mendicancy Law nga bawal gyud na ang manghatag,” stated Rafter.

“Para pud ma-disiplina nato sila nga instead mga mag ingon ana sila…ang ilang ginikanan [mangita og] maayo og pinangabuhi,” she added.

Rafter further disclosed that they have intensified their efforts to prevent the proliferation of child beggars in the city.

“Together with the Anti-Mendicancy [board] sa atoang city government and the DSWS, padayon gyud na ang atoang pag [rescue] aning mga bataa,” she said.

Furthermore, the CCPO director plans to augment more officers to the Anti-Mendicancy Board in order to make their rescue operations more efficient.

Rafter also admitted that rescuing child beggars is a challenging task.

“Dili man gud pud lalim jud mag-rescue niining mga bataana. Kay ngano, once makakita na sila, makabalo na gyud na sila og lihok sa mga police. Bisan pag di na mag-uniporme ang pulis, managan sa karsada,” she said.

Law enforcers must also be careful not to cause incidents that could threaten the safety of the child beggars during rescue operations.

In addition, most rescued kids immediately return to the streets after they are turned over to the local government in their barangay.

While police cannot monitor the minors 24/7, Rafter assured that their efforts are unwavering.

She added that aside from police, local government units and citizens should also play an active role in stopping the proliferation of child beggars and beggars in general on the streets of Cebu City.   

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TAGS: Cebu City, child beggars, mendicancy

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