Aquino inks laws protecting juveniles, animals-A A +A
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has signed into law bills amending the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 and the Animal Welfare Act of 1998, Malacanang said Tuesday.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, in a press briefing, said that the Chief Executive signed on October 3 Republic Act 10630 otherwise known as "An Act Strengthening the Juvenile Justice System in the Philippines," amending for the purpose RA 9344, otherwise known as the "Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 and appropriating funds therefor."
The law aims to protect the welfare of children in conflict with the law, majority of whom are guilty of petty crimes such as petty theft, vagrancy and sniffing glue.
Under the law, a child 15 years old and under at the time of the commission of the crime, will be exempted from criminal liability.
However, the said child shall be subjected to a community-based intervention program supervised by the local social welfare and development officer, unless the best interest of the child requires the referral of the child to a youth care facility or Bahay Pag-asa managed by local government units (LGUs) or licensed and/or accredited non-government organizations monitored by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The law provides that a child above 15 years but below 18 years of age shall likewise be exempt from criminal liability and be subjected to an intervention program, unless he/she has acted with discernment, in which case, such child shall be subjected to the appropriate proceedings in accordance with this Act.
These minors can face civil liabilities in accordance with existing laws.
A child who is above 12 years of age up to 15 years of age and who commits parricide, murder, infanticide, kidnapping and serious illegal detention where the victim is killed or raped, robbery, with homicide or rape, destructive arson, rape, or carnapping where the driver or occupant is killed or raped or offenses under RA 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) punishable by more than 12 years of imprisonment, shall be deemed a neglected child under Presidential Decree 603, as amended.
The child shall be mandatorily placed in a special facility within the youth care faculty or Bahay Pag-asa called the Intensive Juvenile Intervention and Support Center.
The law mandates the creation of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC) to ensure the effective implementation of this Act.
The law also provides for the appropriation of P400 million for the construction of Bahay Pag-asa rehabilitation centers in provinces or cities with high incidence of children in conflict with the law.
Meanwhile, Valte said that Aquino also inked on October 3 RA 10631 otherwise known as "An Act Amending Certain Sections of Republic Act No. 8485," otherwise known as "The Animal Welfare Act of 1998."
The law aims to protect and promote the welfare of all terrestrial, aquatic and marine animals in the Philippines by supervising and regulating the establishment and operations of all facilities utilized for breeding, maintaining, keeping, treating or training of all animals either as objects of trade or as household pets, including birds.
Under the law, animal welfare pertains to the physical and psychological well-being of animals. It includes, but not limited to, the avoidance of abuse, maltreatment, cruelty and exploitation of animals by humans by maintaining appropriate standards of accommodation, feeding and general care, the prevention and treatment of disease and the assurance of freedom from fear, distress, harassment, and unnecessary discomfort and pain, and allowing animals to express normal behavior.
"It shall be unlawful for any person to torture any animal, to neglect, to provide adequate care, sustenance of shelter, or maltreat any animal or to subject any dog or horse to dogfights or horsefights, kill or cause or procure to be tortured or deprived of adequate care, sustenance or shelter, or maltreat or use the same in research or experiments not expressly authorized by the Committee on Animal Welfare," the law said.
The killing of any animal other than cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, poultry, rabbits, carabaos and horses is likewise hereby declared unlawful with "certain exceptions."
Violators of the law could suffer imprisonment of six months up to three years and could be fined of up to P250,000. (SDR/Sunnex)