Vagrancy no longer a penal offense

Republic Act No. 10158 decriminalized vagrancy. Prior to its enactment, the Revised Penal Code stated:

ARTICLE 202.    Vagrants and prostitutes — Penalty. — The following are vagrants:

1.             Any person having no apparent means of subsistence, who has the physical ability to work and who neglects to apply himself or herself to some lawful calling;

2.             Any person found loitering about public or semi-public buildings or places or tramping or wandering about the country or the streets without visible means of support;

3.             Any idle or dissolute person who lodges in houses of ill fame; ruffians or pimps and those who habitually associate with prostitutes;

4.             Any person who, not being included in the provisions of other articles of this Code, shall be found loitering in any inhabited or uninhabited place belonging to another without any lawful or justifiable purpose;

5.             Prostitutes;

For the purposes of this article, women who, for money or profit, habitually indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be prostitutes.

Any person found guilty of any of the offenses covered by this article shall be punished by arresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos, and in case of recidivism, by arresto mayor in its medium period to prision correccional in its minimum period or a fine ranging from 200 to 2,000 pesos, or both, in the discretion of the court.

Article 202 now reads as follows:

Article 202. Prostitutes; Penalty. – For the purposes of this article, women who, or money or proflt, habitually indulge in sexual intercourse  or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be prostitutes.

Any person found guilty of any of the offenses covered by this article shall be punished by arresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos, and in case of recidivism, by arresto mayor in its medium period to prision correccional in its minimum period or a fine ranging from 200 to 2,000 peso, or both, in the discretion of the court.

It is interesting to note that  only women can be prostitutes.

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