Is Jaywalking a Crime in the Philippines?

The short answer: No. Jaywalking is not considered a crime in the traditional sense of criminal law. Instead, it is typically addressed through local ordinances and regulations that impose fines and penalties for violating pedestrian traffic rules. In Metro Manila, for example, there are specific ordinances prohibiting jaywalking and providing penalties for offenders.

Violating anti-jaywalking ordinances can result in fines and, in some cases, community service requirements. The goal of these measures is to promote pedestrian safety, reduce traffic congestion, and encourage responsible road use. Therefore, while jaywalking may not be a criminal offense, it is still subject to legal consequences under municipal and city regulations designed to enhance public safety on the streets.

jaywalking law philippines

Understanding the Jaywalking Problem

Jaywalking—a term used to describe pedestrians crossing streets outside designated crosswalks or pedestrian lanes—is a significant issue in many urban areas, especially in Metro Manila. While it might seem like a minor infraction, jaywalking poses serious risks to both pedestrians and drivers. 


Let’s take a look at the different kinds of problems and dangers associated with jaywalking. 

  • Safety Hazards: Crossing streets at undesignated locations exposes pedestrians to oncoming traffic, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries.
  • Traffic Disruption: Jaywalking can disrupt traffic flow, leading to congestion and frustration among drivers.
  • Legal Consequences: In areas where jaywalking is prohibited, violators can face fines or penalties.


  • Accident Prone: Pedestrians who jaywalk are more likely to be involved in accidents, especially in busy urban environments.
  • Visibility Issues: Drivers may not anticipate pedestrians crossing outside designated areas, leading to sudden braking or swerving.
  • Speed of Traffic: Pedestrians underestimate the speed of oncoming vehicles, increasing the likelihood of collisions.

The Anti-Jaywalking Law

There actually is no Anti-Jaywalking republic act or law. Instead, the Metro Manila Council (MMC) introduced Ordinance No. 1, Series of 1995, which specifically addresses “Anti-Jaywalking in Metropolitan Manila and Providing Penalties Therefor.” This ordinance aimed to curb jaywalking, which was identified as a significant factor contributing to traffic congestion and road accidents in the city. With marked crosswalks, footbridges, and pedestrian overpasses/underpasses strategically placed across Metro Manila, the authorities have made efforts to provide safe alternatives for pedestrians. Despite these measures, jaywalking remains a prevalent issue, leading to safety concerns and traffic disruptions.

For this reason, let us take a look at what is currently in effect regarding jaywalking in the urban areas, particularly in the National Capital Region (NCR). Before that, let’s take a look at the Manila Ordinance No. 1, the Anti-Jaywalking ordinance in Metropolitan Manila.

Key Provisions

The key provisions of the Anti-Jaywalking Law in the Philippines, particularly within Metro Manila, are outlined in ordinances and regulations aimed at promoting pedestrian safety and reducing traffic-related incidents. Here are the essential elements of this law:


The law defines jaywalking as the act of crossing streets or highways outside designated pedestrian lanes, footbridges, or overpasses.

Amendments to Traffic Regulations

The law allows for amendments to traffic regulations to strengthen enforcement against jaywalking. Amendments may include specifying additional prohibited actions or enhancing penalties for repeat offenders.

Public Awareness Campaigns

The law may also mandate public awareness campaigns to educate pedestrians about the dangers of jaywalking and the importance of using designated crossings and pedestrian facilities.

Creation of Anti-Jaywalking Task Force

The law authorizes the establishment of an Anti-Jaywalking Task Force under the Traffic Discipline Office (TDO). This task force is responsible for enforcing the Anti-Jaywalking Law and apprehending violators.

Penalties for Violators

Violators of the Anti-Jaywalking Law face fines and other penalties. According to MMDA Regulation No. 99-013, Series of 1999, individuals caught jaywalking will be issued a Pedestrian Violation Receipt (PVR) and fined with Two Hundred Pesos (P200.00). They would also be required to undergo MMDA Community Service, which includes Disaster, Flood Preparedness, and Public Safety training. If the fine is not paid immediately on site, there is a specified period (seven days from apprehension) to settle it at the MMDA Redemption Center. Failure to comply within this period may lead to legal action. The fines have since changed to Five Hundred Pesos (P500.00) but there have been talks of increasing it to One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00) and adding a need to complete some educational training or seminar to deter violators. 

Community Service Requirement

In addition to fines, offenders may also be required to perform community service for up to one day. This service typically involves disaster preparedness, flood management, or public safety training.

These key provisions emphasize the importance of pedestrian safety and responsible road use. By adhering to designated pedestrian lanes and utilizing footbridges or overpasses, individuals can contribute to safer streets and reduced traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

Plans to Improve the Anti-Jaywalking Law

Despite these penalties, questions arise about the effectiveness and fairness of strict fines for jaywalking. Transport advocates like AltMobility PH argue against significantly increasing penalties, calling such measures “inhumane” and disconnected from the reality of pedestrians and vulnerable road users.

The Human Element
Advocates stress that many pedestrians, especially in dense urban areas like Metro Manila, rely heavily on walking or public transportation. For them, crossing busy streets is often a necessity due to the lack of accessible footbridges or the distance to the nearest pedestrian crossing.

Infrastructure Matters
Advocates emphasize the need for road infrastructure that prioritizes pedestrians and vulnerable road users. Recommendations include creating more at-grade crossings, sidewalks, and designated lanes to promote active transportation and ensure safety.

The Way Forward
Rather than punitive fines, the focus should shift towards redesigning roads to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists effectively. This approach aligns with broader efforts to promote sustainable and inclusive urban mobility.

Video: Jaywalkers Made to Sing National Anthem

To check how jaywalkers are warned in the Philippines, you may check out this video from AP Archive:


While jaywalking might not be considered a serious crime like theft or assault, it is indeed a punishable offense under local ordinances in Metro Manila. The focus is on promoting pedestrian safety, reducing traffic congestion, and preventing accidents. By utilizing designated pedestrian crossings and adhering to traffic rules, pedestrians can contribute to smoother traffic flow and safer streets for everyone. So, the next time you’re out and about in Metro Manila, remember to use the designated crossings and footbridges not just to avoid paying fines—but also to ensure your safety and the well-being of fellow road users. 

Contact Information

For more information, you may check out with the MMDA via the following contact information:

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA)

Office Address: MMDA Building, EDSA, Makati City
Contact Nos: 882-4151 to 77, Metrocall “136”
Fax No. (632) 8822628

error: Content is protected !!