“Bigyan na lang ng malasakit”: Mayor Isko says apprehending street beggars not an option

  • Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said the homeless and beggars should be cared for and not apprehended by authorities
  • This was his response to DILG Undersecretary Martin Diño who earlier said people begging on the streets should be apprehended and brought to the DSWD
  • Mayor Isko said for the past seven months they cared for the homeless in their facilities and will continue to do so

Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno said it is not an “option” for the local government to apprehend street beggars as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on.

Image by Manila PIO via Facebook

Mayor Isko said they would rather rescue and rehabilitate the homeless in their local government’s facilities. His statement came after the order of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Martin Diño to apprehend street dwellers because they may be spreading the virus.

Mayor Isko said for the past seven months, the local government has been taking care of the homeless. He said instead of apprehending, he would rather hug and care for these people in need.

“I think, with due respect to Undersecretary Diño, baka maganda ang kaniyang iniisip, pero kung ako naman dito sa lungsod ng Maynila, mas gusto kong kunin sila, yakapin sila, bigyan na lang sila ng malasakit hangga’t makakaya namin, the way we have been doing it for the past seven months,” he said.

“Maybe the national government has a different perspective about it. We look at them as human, human beings,” he added.

Earlier, Diño said the law must be implemented against street dwellers, locally-stranded individuals, displaced jeepney drivers and others who have been begging on the streets. He said the authorities have the right to apprehend them and bring them to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) because they might be carriers of the virus.

Image by Isko Moreno via Twitter

He said, “Ang batas ay batas. Dapat iyan hinuhuli ng mga pulis, dapat dinadala sa DSWD kasi baka hindi mo alam, baka ito na ’yung nagkakalat ng pandemya dahil unang-una, exposed ito.”

“Wala dapat sila sa lansangan. Pandemya tayo ngayon. Walang pinipili ang pandemya,” he added.