Youth detention centers nationwide sought-A A +A
Monday, November 1, 2010
HOPING to address the soaring numbers of young offenders, lawmakers pushed for the establishment of youth detention houses in all provinces nationwide.
Representative Mel Senen Sarmiento (first district, Western Samar) filed House bill 1495, pushing for the measure that also gives easy access for the offenders' parents in visiting their children.
"In rehabilitating the kids, the visitation right of the parents is important. The country is composed of many islands, it would be very hard for the parents to visit their children and be a part of their therapy," Sarmiento added.
The neophyte lawmaker also pointed out that the detention homes will also allow the youth to be separated from the hardcore offenders.
Right now, Sarmiento said he is trying to gather all data pertaining to cases where "the social workers are forced to release the offender because of lack of facility, lest be accused of illegal detention or kidnapping."
Sarmiento said the proposal shall provide care and maintenance for young offenders.
Representative Leopoldo Bataoil (second district, Pangasinan) said there is an urgent need to amend Republic Act 9344, otherwise known as "The Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006" to tackle the issue head on.
"It is my strong belief that children in conflict with law should be treated with utmost care by trained police and Department of Social Welfare and Development personnel," said Bataoil, former chief of the National Capital Region Police Office.
At present, the DSWD have 14 Regional Rehabilitation Centers for the Youth and seven provincial-based rehabilitation homes called Bahay Pagasa.(Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)