City gov’t addresses plight of mendicants, vagrants on streets

Authorities continue the conduct of round-up activities to address the plight of mendicants and vagrants in the city.

Personnel from the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) together with members of Task Force Ordinance under the City Administrator’s Office and the Community Police Action Center (COMPAC) on Monday, April 8 made the rounds of the central business district specifically Gov. Lim Avenue and Tomas Claudio Street to monitor mendicants and vagrants.

The round-up activity yielded a number of mendicants and vagrants including minors, who were turned over to the CSWDO for processing and counselling and provision of services at the Mendicant’s Center in Culianan.

The counseling focused on health risk, strengths of the family and its members, disadvantages of mendicancy and provision of psychological first aid, food packs and others.

The continuous drive of the local government is in line with Ordinance 351 which establishes an integrated system to prevent mendicancy in Zamboanga City.

Under Ordinance 351, mendicants refer to any persons who habitually solicit and beg for a living and have no visible and legal means of support and lawful means of employment either physically fit or persons with disability. (Sheila Covarrubias)