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266 mendicants rescued from downtown streets

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At least 266 mendicants and vagrants to include psychotic vagrants have been rescued from the downtown streets of Zamboanga and taken back to their respective places of origin.

Assistant City Social Welfare and Development Officer Leonida Bayan told the press briefing yesterday that the city government had earlier created a mendicancy task force headed by Council Tungku Hanapi.

She said the task force conducts a roundup or rescue of mendicants and vagrants on downtown streets and barangays within the seven-kilometer radius of the city every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

For the month of November 1 to 10 alone the group was able to rescue 36 mendicants, and a total 266 since January.

Bayan said the rescued mendicants were initially taken care at the process center at Cawa-Cawa before they were taken back to their respective places of origin in coordination with the barangay officials concerned.

Once turned over, Bayan said, the mendicants and vagrants were given after-care services and social interventions. A focal person will be assigned to watch over those returned mendicants.

Unfortunately, Bayan lamented that after sometime, two to three months later, these mendicants and vagrants would return to the streets begging just the way they did before.

“That’s the reality and a challenge we are facing in this campaign,” Bayan lamented.

In the meantime, she said Hanapi’s group will meet this week to assess the roundup drive and find ways on how to prevent the return of mendicants to the streets of Zamboanga.-(Vic Larato/PR)




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