Crackdown on street, passenger jeepney carolers

Posted on November 13, 2012

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THE anti-mendicancy task force vowed to go after carolers on board jeepneys to enforce a Cebu City ordinance prohibiting caroling on the streets.

“But we’ll only catch minors. Those over 18 with tattoos – we’re afraid of them. We’ll have to ask for police assistance,” said Betty Ganub, head of the anti-mendicancy task force.

Ganub said she will coordinate with the task force on street dwellers and the city’s anti-squatting team to enforce the ordinance passed last Dec. 14.

The anti-street caroling ordinance imposes a P500 fine and imprisonment of not more than five days.

Aside from street carolers, Ganub said they will also go after vagrants like Badjao beggars who ask for money from motorists.

Ganub said the number of street carolers rises at the start of the Christmas season and lasts until the Sinulog celebration in January.

She said they started monitoring the arrival of Badjaos from Basilan, Cotabato and Zamboanga.

She said Badjao tribal members would beg along N. Bacalso Avenue near E-Mall and at the Asian College of Technology campus, near the Mabolo church and SM Cebu City Mall at the North Reclamation Area.

Street carolers also proliferate near Immaculada along Gorordo Avenue and the Ayala access road as well as streets of barangay Hipodromo, on Tres de Abril Street, in barangay Duljo, near the Sto. Rosario Church and in Fuente Osmeña.

Those who are caught are brought to the Citicenter complex downtown.

Ganub said they coordinate with the National Commission for Indigenous People to bring trival mendicants back to their hometowns.

She said she will meet with the two Badjao chieftains in Mambaling for their cooperation.

Youths arrested for caroling are turned over to the City Social Welfare Office for assessment and intervention, Ganub said. /Edison A. delos Angeles, Correspondent

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