DAVAO CITY–The city government has called on motorists to refrain from giving money to street carolers, especially children, as it strengthens the campaign against Christmas caroling on the city’s thoroughfares.
While the city government does not have a law banning street caroling, Marilyn Agonia of the City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) said the safety of the children remains an utmost concern.
Agonia also noted that the city has an anti-mendicancy law, which prohibits people from asking or giving money on the streets.
Agonia said children may instead do caroling in safe areas such as neighborhoods and well-lit places, noting the dangers of squeezing themselves on the streets, which swarm with vehicles.
“Dili gyud sila pwede sa daghan og sakyanan (They can’t go anywhere near the streets),” Agonia said on Thursday at a media forum here.
So far, the CSSDO already rescued 55 adults and children caught in the act of caroling on the streets. Eleven of them have been discharged from government custody; 14 discharged to their families; 12 were referred to provinces; 12 referred to the barangays in the city and one left without permission.
Agonia urged motorists to observe “responsible giving, especially when such activity is already made as a form of livelihood by some people.”
The City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) has already printed flyers discouraging motorists from giving money to the carolers.
One of the flyers says: “Ang syudad sa Dabaw kauban sa pagsaulog sa kapaskuhan, kami nagahangyo nga likayan ang paghatag sa mga tawo hilabi na sa mga bata nga naga panaygon o nagapangayo sa kadalanan.”
(As the City of Davao joins in the celebration of Christmas, we ask everyone to refrain from giving money to people especially the caroling and begging children in the streets.) (Lilian C Mellejor/PNA)