Beggars and burgers at Delgado in Iloilo City are plentiful. Giving alms to street children and beggars is not allowed in Iloilo City and such an act is punishable under City Regulation Ordinance 2002-400 as reported in the July 20th, 2010, online edition of The News Today. The ordinance provides that “those caught begging are liable to fines of P500, imprisonment of not more than a year or both fine and imprisonment.”
Iloilo City is attempting to curb the growing number of ethnic Badjaos and Atis, street children and elderly roaming and begging in its streets, a press release from the Public Information Office said. When the new ordinance first went into effect, I recall that the areas around Delgado Street and The Atrium, were virtually clear of any panhandlers. However, that only lasted a few months, since, I personally believe, that the law is not being enforced as is the case of many rules and regulations in the Philippines.
The ordinance provides that “those caught begging are liable to fines of P500, imprisonment of not more than a year or both fine and imprisonment.”
And what if you give to a beggar, such as one of the unfortunate blind ones shown in the lead photo? Giving to beggars in Iloilo City is punishable by a fine of P500, 11 US Dollars, or community service. Any person, syndicate or group who utilize and exploit minors, disabled and infirm persons in the mendicancy trade shall suffer a penalty of P2,000 in fine and imprisonment of not less than two months.
That’s the problem. Many of these panhandlers are controlled by syndicates, gangs, in Iloilo and are forced to turn over their earnings to the syndicate. If they don’t collect enough money for these heartless thugs, they are beaten.
I noticed the two blind beggars in my photo near the McDonald’s located at MaryMart while I was waiting for Rease to arrive, so we could quaff a beer or two, I couldn’t help but spot the various motorbikes parked near the burger joint which were used for deliveries.
My asawa and I had already eaten breakfast at the Mickey D’s located a few blocks away at The Atrium. My wife ordered coffee with her pancake meal and when I took our food up to the second floor (the only two-story McDonald’s outlet in Iloilo), my spouse opened her container and remarked that she had hot chocolate instead of coffee. Our bill said “coffee” so I went downstairs to get this sorted out.
My beautiful asawa and her real cup of coffee at McDonald’s
I approached the counter girl that served me and both of the employees at that station stood by, doing nothing. There were several people in line and they were busy with breakfast so I spoke to a manager that came by and advised her what I needed. She told me “sorry, sir” which is more than the girl that gave us the wrong beverage said, and gave me a coffee. I thanked her and went upstairs to deliver it to my wife.
“Did you get mad?” my asawa asked.
“No, I didn’t. I was polite and didn’t even raise my voice,” I replied.
“Good,” my spouse said with a smile.
Whether it be the McDonald’s outlet at The Atruim, SM City, or MaryMart, I estimate that at least one third of the time my orders are messed up. Maybe because it’s because of my “English slang” or perhaps the cashiers are not paying attention. I don’t know. But I can tell you that after almost five years of living in the Philippines, I believe my orders at the local KFC’s have only been screwed up twice.
While I’m on the subject of beggars and burgers at Delgado in Iloilo City, I’ve received a disturbing report from an American expat friend, regarding my highly recommend Crave Burger, of which I praised as the best burger in Iloilo.
The Crave Burger
My expat friend had recommended the Crave to another expat who visited the Smallville outlet and was disappointed by his Crave Burger. I was sorry to hear that. I had gone to the outlet near The Atrium, which has since closed, but will need to make a stop at the Smallville store to check this out. Plus, it gives me an excuse to chow down on my all-time favorite food, the hamburger. I’d put it on my “To Do List” but I don’t bother with one. Since we hired our new maid, Mera, I have even less to do, if that’s possible, and don’t see any need to keep track of “chores” I need to do. Believe me, going back to Crave Burger won’t be a chore at all!