Rey Anthony Chiu
TAGBILARAN CITY, September 02, 2013 (PIA) –The Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) raises an alarm against the proliferation of groups roaming around Bohol, soliciting funds for “noble purposes” but with seemingly some hidden agenda.
At the recent meeting held at the Jjs Seafoods Village, August 29, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Carmelita Tecson brought into the council’s attention a group of bus-riding missionaries soliciting funds, but apparently without the necessary DSWD permits.
At the Alona beach in Panglao, another group approaches unsuspecting tourists and hands in solicitation letters for a Young Achiever’s Club in Makati, without similar permits to solicit.
Sources also report that groups also knock into houses in the towns to sing carols this early, Christian songs or social awareness songs and await for donations to groups they represent.
Most of these do not have DSWD permits, or barangay certifications, as most Barangay Peace and Order Councils mandate for groups doing businesses in their areas.
At the PPOC, Tecson relayed to the council a complaint by concerned citizens of Jagna about a group claiming to be Good Samaritan Missionaries raising funds for their works of charity.
This group is composed of missionaries who are one with all the Christians who love the works of God, the group’s leaflet hand-outs state.
We wish to give hope and direction of the lives of those who are sick and victims of calamities loke storms that often hit the country, the group claims in their hand-outs.
The group said they can do this by giving free dental and health services and relief goods of their needs as we claim to give them hope in their sad situation.
The hand-out, signed by a certain Bro. Allan Estorco also said while giving donations, the group can do their mission.
Despite an apparently noble intention, concerned citizens from an eastern town asked the OPSWD the authenticity of such group, specifically asking of the group has the necessary permit to solicit.
The group’s modus operandi is for its Tagalog-speaking representatives to ride on passenger buses from IBT in Dao, distribute the leaflets and then collecting them back while declaring the group’s mission, before disembarking before boarding another bus, according to complainants.
While the group does this wit apparent tolerance from conductors and drivers, the concerned citizens want this to be investigated to protect the public from illegal and syndicated crimes.
Also in the past, the presence of groups soliciting money with “noble intentions” have been the ploys of scrupulous individuals raising logistics in support of underground groups, as well as mapping areas for possible mass base support, a military intelligence operative admitted.
At the PPOC too, army Major Paolo Baylon, speaking for Col. Julius Tomines assessed that legal front organizations would continue to arouse, mobilize and organize.
This is in order to regain their lost mass base in Bohol.