PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte wants to repeal the Marcos-era Anti-Mendicancy Law that bans children from singing Christmas carols on the streets and outside homes.
The President made the comment in remarks in Davao City, arguing that the Anti-Mendicancy Law, Presidential Decree 1563 issued in 1978, had discouraged children from singing Christmas carols.
“One of the things I really hate…is this banning of [Christmas] caroling among children. I am telling you, do not follow that ban. I intend to repeal that law. It is not good,” Duterte said.
The Anti-Mendicancy Law defines a mendicant as “any person who has no visible and legal means of support, or lawful employment and who is physically able to work but neglects to apply himself to some lawful calling and instead uses begging as a means of living.”
Under the decree, “Any infants or child 8 years old and below who is found begging or is being utilized by a mendicant for purposes of begging shall be apprehended as a neglected child…and shall be committed to the custody and care of the Department of Social Services and Development or to any duly licensed child placement agency or individual.”
Duterte lamented that there were no more children singing Christmas carols.
“Those children singing Christmas carols are nowhere to be found nowadays because I could not see the rationale of such law. Is it just because they always ask for money? I want to repeal a lot of laws, and that would come,” Duterte said.