We laud the administration’s release of P50 million which will be used by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to properly implement the Juvenile Justice Law.
We thank PNoy, DBM Secretary Butch Abad, DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima, and DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman in expediting the release of this fund. We now encourage all stakeholders to join in on the efforts of implementing the JJ Law in the correct manner, as well as beef up efforts in informing the public about the full intention and rationale of the law.
RA 9344 was passed as a law in 2006 to segregate children in conflict with the law from hardened criminals doing hard time in prison. Many police officials, however, are using the law as an excuse for sloppy police work.
It would seem that our police officials are not too aware of the measures that the law provides to ensure that something is done to protect the children, make them account for their acts, and ensure that justice is done in a child-appropriate process.
Under the law, children 15 years old and above who commit offenses with an imposable penalty of more than six years and who have been determined to have acted with discernment should undergo court proceedings. When brought to court, these children may be placed under suspended sentence and be subject to rehabilitation programs.
The law provides for an annual budget of P50 million pesos a year or P150 million for three years since its passing in 2006. The funds were never released during the term of PGMA.
When the new government took over, the Juvenile Justice Council had only five employees and did not have an office of its own. The previous administration funded projects of their allies to the tune of billions of pesos, yet refused to fund the law that created the Juvenile Justice system.
We are hoping that the recent release of P50 million pesos by the Aquino administration will be used for the proper training and implementation as well as information dissemination to the PNP and the general public.
Image Source: Divergent's Blog