NPDC Lauded for Giving Jobs to Street Dwellers, Other Government Agencies Urged to Follow Suit

The EcoWaste Coalition, a waste and pollution watchdog, applauded the recent move by the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) to employ street dwellers for the maintenance and upkeep of parks under its jurisdiction.

The NPDC, in partnership with the National Capital Region office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), recently hired some 200 “vagrants” as park street sweepers, gardeners, janitors and electricians.

The workers age 18 to 59 years old are now deployed at Rizal Park and Paco Park in Manila and the “Pook ni Maria Makiling Forest Park” in Laguna receiving P303 per day for their service, which is paid for by the DSWD.

According to the NPDC, the workers will be assessed for potential regular employment after they have gone through 736 training hours.

Led by its executive director Dr. Juliet H. Villegas, the NPDC has partnered with DSWD to help alleviate the dire life situation of street dwellers who depend mostly on alms for their daily

“We congratulate and commend the NPDC for this humanitarian action which, we hope, will give a new lease of life to homeless and jobless people in the metropolis,” said Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition.

“We urge other government agencies, including local authorities, to follow the NPDC in providing clean and decent work opportunities for many Filipinos who roam the streets all day and night in search for livelihood opportunities,” he said.

“The entire Metro Manila needs a massive cleaning up and the street dwellers can provide the warm bodies to sweep the streets clean, enforce anti-littering laws, handle segregated discards, manage recycling centers and keep the esteros clog-free,” he added.

“What our brothers and sisters in the streets really need is job. Clean, decent and secured livelihoods,” he pointed out.

“As an ancient proverb says: ‘give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,’” he emphasized.