Anti-poverty body discourages giving alms to beggars: 'May sindikato sa likod nito'

Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2023 07:52 PM | Updated as of May 26 2023 11:17 PM

MANILA -- The National Anti-poverty Commission (NAPC) is discouraging the public from giving alms to beggars on the streets, saying that there may be criminal gangs behind them. 

NAPC Vice Chair for the Government Sector Reynaldo Tamayo, in a press briefing on Friday, was asked for comment on a viral photo on social media showing a kid allegedly presenting a printed QR code to someone he approached on the street. 

The Facebook user who posted the photo said that the boy was asking for alms, and when they told him that they had no coins or spare change to give him, the boy showed a GCash QR code. 

ABS-CBN News has not yet confirmed the veracity of the Facebook post, but nonetheless, NAPC warned against giving in to these individuals.

“Talagang dini-discourage natin iyong mga ganoon ano. Kami sa local government naman na mayroon kaming ordinances na bawal talaga mamalimos, at bawal magbigay sa mga nanlilimos,” Tamayo, who is also the South Cotabato governor, told media on Friday.

“Ang problema ay mayroong mga sindikato na nasa likod ng mga ito. Mayroong instances noon na inihahatid ng van sa umaga at pinipickup naman sa gabi ng van,” he said.

He highlighted that there are government programs and interventions that are meant to address poverty in the Philippines. 

“Karamihan ng mga naglilimos na iyan ang may problema ang tatay sa trabaho, problema sa livelihood, iyon nanay may problema rin sa livelihood, problema sa edukasyon. Ang lahat na ito kung maidentify ng mga local government units iyong mga pamilya na mayroong ganitong problema ay dapat matutukan ng iba't ibang ahensya," he said.

The government is also currently using a “community-based monitoring system” which updates the database of Filipino families that are qualified to be beneficiaries of government’s anti-poverty programs, Tamayo said.