Mendicancy Law of 1978
1. Mendicant – Those with no visible and legal means of support, or lawful employment and physically able to work but neglects to apply himself to lawful calling and instead uses begging as means of living (higher penalty if convicted 2 or more times)
2. Any person who abets mendicancy by giving alms on public roads, sidewalks, parks and bridges except if given through organized agencies operating under rules and regulations of Ministry of Public Information
NOTE: Giving alms through organized agencies operating under the rules and regulations of the Ministry of Public Information is not a violation of the Mendicancy Law.
Under R.A. 9344 persons below eighteen (18) years of age shall be exempt from prosecution
for the crime of vagrancy and prostitution under Section 202 of the Revised Penal Code, of
mendicancy under Presidential Decree No. 1563, and sniffing of rugby under Presidential
Decree No. 1619, such prosecution being inconsistent with the United Nations Convention
of the Rights of the Child:
Those enumerated in section 4, who are not considered mendicants are the following:
1. Any infant or child 8 years old and below who is found begging or is being utilized by a mendicant for purposes of begging
2. Any minor over 9 years of age and under 15 found begging or is being utilized for purposes of begging, and who acted with or without discernment
3. Any person who is found begging and who is physically or mentally incapable of gainful occupation
Who are punishable?
1. A mendicant shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding P500.00 or by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 2 years or both at the discretion of the court.
2. A habitual mendicant (one who has been convicted of mendicancy under this law 2 or more times) shall be punished by a fine not exceeding P1000.00 or by imprisonment for a period not exceeding years, or both at the discretion of the court.