In Manila, it is thought that panhandling is “syndicated,” or set up as a business by organized crime. There are no laws against panhandling, other than an antiquated anti-vagrancy rule in the criminal statutes. A person with “no apparent means of subsistence, who has the physical ability to work and who neglects to apply himslef or herself to some lawful calling” can be found criminally liable, but the penalty is light (Revised Penal Code, Art. 202). This explains why the street beggars are children and handicapped persons, who have the legal defense of not having the physical ability to work.
But here’s an item on how New York city has “tamed” the panhandling epidemic, courtesy of Catherine Rampell at the NY Times, who asks why panhandlers ask for coffee. And a ‘toon of Frank and Ernest: