DSWD cites role of every sector in goal to strength juvenile justice system PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 June 2014 13:36

By LEILANI S.JUNIO

 

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) underscored on Monday the important role of every sector in the goal to strengthen the juvenile justice system in the country.

DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman made the statement when she led the signing of the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 10630 that amended R.A. 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.

The signing was held at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

“I appeal to all sectors to help in ensuring the success of the implementation of the amended law towards making life right for the child,” Soliman said in her keynote speech.

She particularly made the call to the Local Government Units (LGUs), Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC), media practitioners and other advocators of the rights of children in the society and in the community.

According to Soliman, there is a need for all sectors to be good role models to the children as she believes that (the said sectors) can greatly influence the young to either do good or bad.

“That is the first step to ensure that we can prevent the occurrence of circumstances or triggering factors that can stimulate the children to engage in negative offense/s that they can commit in the process that can make them juvenile offenders,” Soliman said.

She noted that children deem right what they often see from the adults, so they (adults) should be responsible enough or be upright as “role models” for the young to help them tread the right direction.

She added that since children have the tendency to idolize or look up to other people, it is important that they can see good examples to emulate that will help keep them away from developing negative traits or be hooked into committing offenses against society.

According to the DSWD chief, everyone has the responsibility to protect the young and make the environment safe for them to grow up.

She explained that the BCPC, for its part, can help a lot because their members know within their jurisdiction who are posing dangers to the young and influencing or leading them to commit criminal offenses like being involved in drug syndicates, human traffickers and other groups within their community.

“They are the ones who can identify the provocative factors and help in ensuring that protection of the rights of children are truly met because most of the crimes committed by some youth offenders are for their survival or for self-defence,” she stressed.

She also urged them to take active part in ensuring that proper protection is given to youth offenders, particularly the 15 year-old and below who are in-conflict with the law, especially if they committed the crimes due to the syndicates that exploited them.

“Their participation is a key factor in reducing the number of children who will become misguided elements in the society and thus will lessen the number of vulnerable children that may be hooked to do criminal offenses,” she pointed out.

With the signing of the IRR of the amendatory law, the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC) will now be under the supervision of DSWD.

Under the amendment, some enhancements include allocation of P400 million to fund the construction of Bahay Pag-Asa in priority LGUs where there is high incidence of 15-year-old and below children committing crimes.

The Bahay Pag-Asa is a 24-hour residential child-caring institution that will be managed by LGUs and accredited non-governmental organizations that will provide short-term residential care for children in conflict with the law (CICL).

It will be composed of a team of social workers, psychologist/mental health professionals, educational and guidance counsellors that will provide intervention as a restorative approach for the youth offenders with the aim to integrate them eventually in the mainstream of society, particularly their families.

Among the other features of the law are that the victim’s family will also be provided with assistance and the retention of the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 15 years old as stipulated in R.A. 9344.