Thoughtless extravagance (Article 25, Civil Code)

Thoughtless extravagance in expenses for pleasure or display during a period of acute public want or emergency may be stopped by order of the courts at the instance of any government or private charitable institution. (Article 25, Civil Code)
Why is there a need to discourage or, if needed, stop thoughtless extravagance? According to Paras, thoughtless extravagance during emergencies by those who can afford to spend may incite the passions of those who cannot afford to spend. As Mahatma Gandhi has said, "Poverty is the worst form of violence."

Hatred and violent action may be inspired from those who cannot afford to engage in the thoughtless extravagance that very few are enjoying, especially during difficult times such after an earthquake that destroys a city or during a pandemic. However, it is important to note that Albano is of the opinion that there must be a declared public want or emergency before Article 25 applies. 

Does the provision give the right of action to charitable institutions only, whether government or private? It appears to be so. Otherwise, the provision would have said: "xxx may be stopped by order of the courts." However, Paras has this to say: "The Mayor of a city, should he desire to stop an alleged display of extravagance by a social organization cannot summarily order the stopping all by himself. He has to ask for a court order. A Mayor indeed cannot just take the law into his own hands, no matter how noble or sincere his motive may be."

Another authority, back in 1950, gave the following explanation:

"One need not stretch his imagination to witness today a continuing carnival of pomp and vanity. The love for display of luxuries, coupled with the glare for vainglories and frivolities, carries with it the corruption of society and the debasement of public morality and decency. Thoughtless and wasteful extravagance not only pollute the general public but emasculate [xxx] the strong fibers of civilization and render stunted the good virtues of the righteous. A continued and prolonged obsession in unreasonable and unpardonable excesses will, in the last computation or analysis, bring about not only moral degeneration but also material disintegration equally harmful and destructive to both who indulge in them and those who are under or near such bad and evil influences. One of the main causes of unrest among the poor or among the masses, now and in the past, is the all too often and frequent ostentation of vanity and riches in open disregard of the privation and poverty of the great majority. All this exhibition of pomp and thoughtless waste of money and fortune redound to retard the rapid material and economic advancement of society and gives the youth a deleterious and debasing example and affords the old no reason for justification or jubiliation wheresoever and whensoever done. Hence, the necessity of this new rule of law which aims to curb, if not altogether culminate [sic], this wordly vanity of vanities." (Garcia & Alba, Civil Code of the Phils. p. 67-68, 1950 Ed)

From a remedial law perspective, the remedy in court appears to be a petition for injunction based on Article 25 of the Civil Code.

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