Giving alms to street beggars is against the law - CSWDO

ZAMBOANGA CITY, June 30 (PIA) -- Giving alms, whether in cash or kind to street beggars or mendicants is against the Anti-Mendicancy Law, or Presidential Decree No. 1563, an official from the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) here reminds.

Uldarico Fabian, division head in the CSWDO, said it is against the law to give money, food or any other forms of alms to beggars.

“Even those beggars who present paper certifications when asking for money… you are not supposed to give them money,” Fabian said.

He added that only legitimate organizations or groups with a permit from City Hall can legally solicit money or donations.

The Anti-Mendicancy Law, Fabian explained seeks to ease beggars’ dependency on the sympathy of people, and in fact aims to help said beggars become independent from alms with the help of legitimate social welfare institutions.

“In fact, the government has in place intervention programs and centers for them which can really help them,” he said.

The result of giving money to mendicants, Fabian said is encouraging more mendicants to go to the streets and beg.

Fabian said that in spite of the law, the government cannot really control people who give alms and donations to beggars willingly. But he appeals to residents that whenever they encounter beggars, they should instead take them to the CSWDO for a more appropriate government intervention. (EDT/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)

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