Jeepney, bus passengers not compelled to give alms to beggars


MANILA — An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Public Affairs Committee (CBCP-PAC) said the people are not compelled to give to those who are asking money inside public transportation during the holiday season.

According to Fr. Jerome Secillano, CBCP-PAC Executive Secretary, the public cannot be forced to give or donate money to those who are soliciting inside jeepneys and buses but they can visit institutions to be able to help those who are in need.

“People are not obligated to give. There are other ways to be charitable. They can visit orphanages, or they could donate to churches and not necessarily to people who are directly soliciting from passengers, from people in the street,” he said in an interview.

It has been a practice of some people to solicit money from passengers inside public transportation by giving envelopes while singing Christmas carols during the holidays.

The Catholic priest said if the people would like to be sure that their donations would be received by those who really need it, they may donate it to institutions who are helping the less fortunate.

“I think it is safer to give in the institutions because you know very well that your donation would be taken care off. It’s safe so to say,” he said.

“Reminder na ‘yun na mas effective siguro na magbigay tayo dun sa institutions,” Secillano added.

Filipinos are known to be generous people especially during the holiday season where they share their blessings by giving cash or in-kind gifts to those who are in need.