Badjaos who make a living by diving for spare change thrown by passengers on board ships docked at the Tagbilaran City port have been barred from going near vessels amid the â€œstate of lawlessnessâ€ in the country.
The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) implemented the measure in accordance with the tightening of security in public places such as seaports to prevent bombings and terrorist attacks.
According to Engr. James Gantalao, city PPA manager, they cannot assure that all boats that go near docked or slowly moving vessels are carrying Badjaos whose purpose is to beg for alms.
Gantalao said that the measure was also designed to keep Badjaos who dive for change underwater from the danger of being hit by a shipâ€™s rotor or propeller.
However, Gatalao admitted that they would not be able to strictly enforce the policy due to lack of manpower.
The PPA official instead urged passengers to refrain from throwing coins for the Badjaos, as he noted that even the Coast Guard will not be able to prioritize going after Badjaos near ships.
Gantalao is optimistic that without passengers throwing coins at them, Badjaos would be discouraged from going near ships.
The PPA has observed that BadjaosÂ are drawn to vesselsÂ with many passengers who are willing to spare them change. (Allen Doydora)
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