Issue of August 5, 2018
     
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Benguet
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2018
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Localized law to rid city of mendicants filed at council
by PIO release

The city council is deliberating on a proposal that seeks to localize the Anti-Mendicancy Law.

Vice Mayor Edison R. Bilog proposed an ordinance that prohibits mendicancy in the city to prevent the exploitation of children through mendicancy; prevent situations that could endanger life, limb, and property due to mendicancy, especially along busy roads and streets; and provide interventions to address the prevalence of mendicants in the city.

The proposal prohibits begging and soliciting of cash in public places, including but not limited to streets, buildings, offices, commercial establishments, and public utility vehicles; assisting any person or child to become a mendicant; and giving cash to any mendicant.

It added that a mendicant shall be immediately rescued and endorsed to the City Social Welfare and Development Office for profiling and other appropriate actions or interventions.

Parents and guardians exploiting infants or minors shall be prosecuted pursuant to existing laws, rules, and regulations.

Any child below eight years old who is found begging or is being used by any person for purposes of begging shall be treated as a neglected child and shall be immediately committed to the CSWDO. Any person using the child as a front in begging shall be also apprehended and penalized.

Any person who distributes envelopes bearing the word “donation,” sells items by force such as attaching bracelets and charms without permission of the individual, and other forms of fictitious claims of church memberships and organizations but without any valid permit shall be considered a mendicant.

An anti-mendicancy task force will be created to ensure the effective implementation of the ordinance.

Able-bodied mendicants 18 years old and above shall pay P500 on first offense; P1,000 on second offense; and P1,500 and two months imprisonment or both on third offense.


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