The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has turned to the Quezon City government for a needed endorsement of a move seeking for a review of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act following a reported increase in the number of children being used by criminal elements for their illegal activities.
Minors used as drug couriers and ‘akyat-bahay” gang members have reportedly grown in number since the passage of the law, prompting the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to seek endorsement of support from Quezon City, which is one of the very first local government units that enforced the juvenile justice law.
The juvenile justice law, passed in 2005, exempts children aged 15 years and below from any criminal liability.
QC Acting Mayor Joy Belmonte, whose endorsement has been sought after by Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robrero in the call to review the law, has also pressed for the establishment of community-based rehabilitative facilities for youth offenders to address the problem of juvenile delinquency.
“What we need is to provide a holistic approach in the treatment and rehabilitation of children in conflict with the law to make them productive citizens when they return to their families and communities,” said the Vice Mayor.
All children-in-conflict-with the law in Quezon City placed at the city government-operated Molave Youth Home, which serves as a detention and rehabilitation center for youth offenders in the city.
The facility, managed by the social services development department, provides youth offenders with shelter, food, clothing, academic and special educational programs, non-formal education as well as value formation activities designed to improve their well-being as productive members of the society.
To date, the Molave Youth Home has about 216 wards under its care.
Because of its outstanding practices in the management and treatment of youth offenders, the Molave Youth Home was awarded a special citation in the Pook Galing Awards in 2007.
For children with drug-related cases, the city government provides referral to the Tahanan Rehabilitation Center in Barangay Payatas. Precy/Maureen Quinones, PAISO