Ivana Alawi’s prank video posting as a beggar and begging for alms is being questioned by some of the netizens. This is after she had gone through different areas of Metro Manila to find someone who will give her a spare change. This in turn will give the giver a 1000 percent return. If the giver will give her one peso she will then give the person 1000 pesos. The idea of the video is noble but the execution is wrong, this is according to some netizens because it violates the Presidential Decree No. 1563 or Anti-Mendicancy Law which prohibits begging or soliciting charitable donations by the poor and other religious organizations on the streets. Giving alms to beggars is also prohibited by law.
Some netizens are pointing out that we are in a pandemic situation where so many of us are out of work and have to do something to put food on the table even if that means we will beg on the street to survive. But others disagreed, there is a saying in law that ignorance of the law excuses no one. If you violate the law then you have to answer for that.
In that decree, it penalizes mendicants with a maximum fine of 500 pesos or by imprisonment for a period of up to two years or both. A habitual mendicant on the other hand shall be slapped with a fine of up to 1000 pesos or by imprisonment for a period of up to four years or both.
This law was passed by then-President Marcos to prohibit beggars on the street and to prohibit using kids to beg in the street. This law supposed to be repealed by President Duterte in 2016.
The intention of Ivana to help the less fortunate is very commendable but at the expense of the law, that is still wrong. There’s a heartfelt moment in the video where she helped a taho vendor because the taho vendor gave her money and taho. She did not expect the good heart of the vendor that’s why she cried. Those are some of the moments you will appreciate humanity because even though some people are in a bad situation they are still willing to help other people. Like the taho vendor who sacrificed a lot and willing to walk from Muntinlupa to Makati to sell taho.
Do you question now the good intent? If you are hard on the law you can question it but I think this deserves more commendation rather than being slammed because you helped people with the good intention of helping more people to believe in the goodness of humanity. You can question it all you want but that act is beyond the law, it transcends to all humankind. Sometimes you have to compromise act not in a literal way but on how the person artistically designs the help needed to propel change in our society. You can speak all you want and you can disagree with her act of kindness but at the end of the day she helped people and you are not.