THE FIRST two-storey institution to house children in conflict with the law (CICL) and women in the region is now established in Wangal, La Trinidad.

However, Benguet Provincial Social Welfare Development Officer Juana Bannawe said the 24-hour center has yet to be completed.

The temporary residence still needs social workers, a psychologist, a doctor, an educational guidance counselor, and other staff before it fully operates, according to Banawe.

In addition, Bannawe said the establishment of a Bahay Pag-asa is in line with Republic Act 10630 or the “Act Strengthening the Juvenile Justice System in the Philippines,” which requires all LGUs to create halfway homes to cater to CICL and victims of domestic violence.

Bahay Pag-asa is an institution that offers short-term residential care for CICL.

The institution can cater 10 to 15 individuals who are abused and CICLs aged 15 to 18 – years – old awaiting court disposition, 12 to 15 – years – old who committed a serious crime with commitment order issued by the court, 12 to 15 – years - old who are repeat offenders, and 12 to 18 years of age who are considered to be neglected, abandoned, or abused.

“The building can cater 10 to 15 individuals since not all of them would stay for a very long period of time. These apprehended minors for violating the curfew or to victims of domestic violence who might need a temporary shelter would go home after our temporary assistance,” said Bannawe.

The institution, according to Banawe, will not act as a rehabilitation center but will be used as a short-term shelter for troubled children and women. 

Based on PSWDO records, from January to August this year, there are 115 cases of CICL and 98 cases of child abuse in the province.