Do not give alms to street dwellers, DSWD appeals

MANILA—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is once again reiterating its call to the public to refrain from giving alms to street children and families—a scene that is prevalent during the holiday season.

“We appeal to our kababayans especially here in Metro Manila not to give alms to children and families on the streets, as this will perpetuate their beliefs that it is okay to ask for alms and that it is a good way to earn,” DSWD Spokesperson, Assistant Secretary Glenda D. Relova, said.

According to the Assistant Secretary, in addition to street dwellers, members of indigenous people’s (IP) groups usually go to Metro Manila and its neighboring cities and provinces to ask for alms during the Christmas season, based on the observation of the DSWD.

“Ang madalas po nating nakikita ay iyong mga kapatid nating Aetas at Sama-Bajau. Simula buwan ng Oktubre, bumababa sila dito sa Manila para manghingi ng limos o pamasko, as it is a means of livelihood for them (Starting October, we usually see our fellow citizens who are Aetas and Sama-Bajaus go to Metro Manila to ask for alms, as it is a means of livelihood for them),” she explained.

Asec. Relova said that she understands that many people may not help but feel pity towards street children and families, especially this Christmas season.

“Naiintindihan po natin na kapag ganitong kapaskuhan, ang mga tao ay may extra love at care na ibinibigay. Mabait ang mga tao at mas maluwag sa kanilang magbigay. Kasi nga, it is the season of giving (We understand that during Christmas season, people give extra love and care. They are more generous as this is the season of giving),” she clarified.

“Ngunit huwag po tayong magbigay ng limos (But let us not give alms). We believe it is not the best solution. Kung hindi magiging accessible sa kanila itong mabilisang pera, hindi na nila ipu-pursue pa ulit yung ganitong gawain (If quick cash won’t be accessible to them, they will not pursue this practice anymore),” Asec. Relova further explained.