BAGUIO CITY – The City Government wants the relatives of beggars in various parks and those roaming around the city to help in the city’s anti-mendicancy campaign by talking to them to stop their activities that has put the country’s undisputed Summer Capital in a bad light through the years.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said family members and relatives of the mendicants play a key role in significantly reducing the proliferation of beggars around the city by simply convincing them to already stop their begging activities because it is their family’s reputation that will be tainted once they continue to tolerate such activities of their family members.
“We discourage begging in our parks, especially those using our indigenous attire to justify their begging activities, because it puts us in a bad light. We do not want our visitors to have a different perception about the Cordillerans that is why the family members and relatives of the beggars should do their part in convincing the beggars to already shift to a better source of income,” Domogan stressed.
He admitted begging has been a lucrative source of income among some of the Cordillerans who found it as the easiest way of earning income for their families through the years.
According to him, some individuals who were engaged in begging around the city were able to build houses for their families, established their own businesses among others that is why some of their colleagues are being lured to beg for them to be able to improve their living condition.
He explained the City Social Welfare and Development Office had been its part in rounding up beggars who had been begging around the city and were able to turn them over to their families but they keep going back to their lucrative activity of begging around the city.
He claimed the existence of beggars who use the attire of the different tribes in the Cordillera and have their pictures taken in exchange for a certain amount of money from visitors reportedly result to the degradation of the culture of Cordillerans that is why as much as possible, begging activities and picture taking being undertaken with Cordillerans wearing their native attire should already stop to prevent the culture of the Igorots from being commercialized that might send a wrong signal to visitors coming to the city.
He called on various sectors in the city not to give any favour or amount to the beggars to help discourage them from continuing with begging as their source of income for their families.
Domogan said with the upcoming celebration of the Yuletide season, beggars are expected to flock to the city to pursue their begging activities because of the expected influx of visitors wanting to spend a well-deserved break in the city to enjoy its cool and romantic weather, pine-scented air and scenic tourist, thus, concerned government agencies as well as law enforcers must be vigilant to apprehend them and bring them back to their places of origin so that they will not be coming back to the city to beg./By Dexter A. See