Pillars of juvenile justice system advocate for Bahay Pag-asa
By Keren Anne Bernadas
THE Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (RJJWC) in Bicol collectively called for the government’s allotment of funds for the construction of Bahay Pag-asa in the province of Camarines Sur.
In the consultation-dialogue among the five pillars of juvenile justice on Thursday, September 21 here, Prosecutor Joycery Fabi-Catorce of Cam Sur Provincial Prosecutor’s Office said that this council hopes for favorable support from the provincial government to finally build a rehabilitative facility for juvenile delinquents or Children In Conflict with the Law (CICLs) in the province where they can receive intervention, restorations programs and welfare system.
Added to this, Genoveva Barcelon, social welfare officer from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol, also the secretary of RJJWC said at Ugnayan sa PIA Cam Sur radio program on September 29, that among all the provinces in the Bicol region, only Camarines Sur has not constructed a Bahay Pag-asa.
Atty. Lorraine Marcaida of the Commission on Human Rights Regional Office 5 reports on the strengths of the pillars that can be developed in order to fulfill their functions better.
“Provision po ng batas ay kailangan magpatayo, mag-operate at magmaintain ng Bahay Pag-asa ang bawat probinsya, kung saan dito inilalagay ang mga bata with on-going trial. Hindi dapat sila ilalagay sa kulungan bagkus ay sa facility, not a jail, but a home-like which is operated for 24 hours. Considering na pinakamalaki ang Cam Sur in terms of land and population pero wala pa po silang Bahay Pag-asa,” Barcelon said.
This public appeal was among the concerns identified during the dialogue. Barcelon said the council hopes that the local government unit will see the need for the mentioned facility. She said that LGU may also utilize the public-private partnership in order to realize this cause, but there must be an initiative from them for its realiztion since the council is mandated to provide technical assistance.
The five pillars of justice in pursuit of RA 9344 as amended to the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act are composed of: correctional, courts, community, prosecution and law enforcement. They are represented by officials from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Regional Trial Court, social welfare and development offices, prosecutors’ office and the Philippine National Police.
Barcelon also said that these pillars will continue to empower each other and sustain their programs and services in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities according to the law. This will also help improve their implementation of the said law, and address every gap to ensure the protection of CICLs. (PIA5/Camarines Sur)