The Provincial Government of Cavite thru the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office in coordination with the Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Committee IV-A (RJJWC IV-A) held a one-day Consultation Dialogue with the Five (5) Pillars of Justice System on February 28, 2017 at the Cavite Collaboration Center for Public Health. The objective of the activity is to have a common understanding on protocols and managing the case of Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) and Children at Risk (CAR) due to the increasing cases perpetrated by minors.
Participating the dialogue were representatives of the five pillars of the Criminal Justice System namely: law enforcement; prosecution; courts; corrections; and the community. Each one plays a vital role in the administration of justice and, as such, their interplay and cooperation is most necessary. In attendance were a judge, some government lawyers, policewomen, social workers, OJT criminology students, and other local government officials.
Mr. Alvin S. Mojica expressed his sentiment about the absence of Bahay Pag-Asa under the Provincial Government. He sees the pressing need for an institution that will cater to CICL cases citing that minors, 9 to 17 years old, who commit crime, should be put under the care of social workers, not to be locked up in jail with the company of criminals. Local Government Units that have care centers for CICL are Bulihan, Silang, Trece Martires City, Gen. Trias, Tanza, and the cities of Dasmariñas, Bacoor, and Imus.
Ms. Precyl T. Ramos, Operation Division Head of PSWDO gave a short situationer of CICL in Cavite. There are 550 cases involving children mostly with theft and robbery offenses that may be due to economic condition, family issues, peer pressure, irresponsible parenting, and awareness of R.A. 9344, the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 that is ably supported by R.A. 10630, an act strengthening the Juvenile Justice System in the Philippines amending the former that minors who commit crimes cannot be imprisoned.
Former Judge Marjorie Uyengco-Nolasco, former Presiding Judge of RTC Branch 83 in Tanauan, Batangas and Professional Lecturer at the Philippine Judicial Academy discussed the Enhanced Process Flowcharts Implementing R.A. 9344 as amended by R.A. 10630. In managing cases of CICL, the manner of handling children with criminal cases and the result should always favor the child since it will make or break them, according to Judge Nolasco.
Mr. Ricky Bunao, Sectoral Unit Head of DSWDO IV-A, reminded everyone that the application of the law have different interpretation but whatever challenge like limited facilities, trainings on intervention should be properly managed for the sake of the client/child.
An open forum for relevant issues and concerns was facilitated by Ms. Darylvy R. Avila, Social Welfare Officer IV. (PICAD)