HR00235 - A RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON THE WELFARE OF CHILDREN TO CONDUCT AN ONSITE INVESTIGATION, IN AID OF LEGISLATION, ON THE DISMAL, UNSANITARY AND NEGLECTED CONDITION OF THE EXISTING FACILITIES BAHAY PAG-ASA

Tue, 08/16/2016 - 00:00 -- gwp_legis

Download File: http://congress.gov.ph/legisdocs/basic_17/HR00235.pdf

A RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON THE WELFARE OF CHILDREN TO CONDUCT AN ONSITE INVESTIGATION, IN AID OF LEGISLATION, ON THE DISMAL, UNSANITARY AND NEGLECTED CONDITION OF THE EXISTING FACILITIES BAHAY PAG-ASA, AND ON THE ALLEGED DETENTION AND INHUMANE TREATMENT OF CHILDREN IN CONFLICT WITH THE LAW INSIDE THE SAID FACILITIES

WHEREAS, the Constitution provides “The state shall defend the right of children to assistance, including proper care and nutrition, and special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to their development”;
WHEREAS, the Declaration on Social and Legal Principles relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children defines a juvenile offender as a child or young person who, under legal systems have committed an act punishable by the law, and should be dealt with but differently from an adult offender;

WHEREAS, the Article 3 of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child specifically states that, “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”;

WHEREAS, among the salient features of the Republic Act 10630 (RA 10630) or the Amendment to the Juvenile Justice of 2006, is the obliged establishment of a Bahay Pag-asa (BPA) per highly urbanized city and per province, which aims to provide care for children in need of rehabilitation, instead of locking them up in a prison cell; in order to help children see hope in life, appreciate their worth, learn from their mistakes and live anew. The concerned Local Government Unit (LGU) should build, fund and operate their own BPAs;

WHEREAS, the Peoples Recovery, Empowerment and Development Assistance (PREDA), a non-government organization member of the Juvenile Justice Welfare Council (JJWC), made a report after visiting three BPAs in the National Capital Region, showing that nothing has been done to change the treatment against juvenile offenders despite being put in BPAs. Thus, it reflects the government’s failure to provide restorative and rehabilitative justice for juvenile offenders even if they are segregated from adults;

WHEREAS, children are continuously held inside the BPAs without clear program of rehabilitation and education that will correct their previous offense using principles of restorative justice, locked up in dirty rooms resembling an actual prison cell, denied of proper food and clothing, and with unmet emotional, mental and psychosocial needs and no available interventions by either a child psychologist or a social worker;

WHEREAS, some designated “BPAs” were former youth detention facilities and their conversion was arbitrary and only for compliance;

WHEREAS, children sent to BPAs were not given new clothing and toiletries, their bathrooms have problematic sewerage system and have no doors, leaving them no privacy;

WHEREAS, the same report revealed that even highly urbanized cities of Pasay, Marikina, Malabon, Caloocan, Manila and Quezon City continue to put juvenile offenders behind bars contrary to the objective and spirit of the recently passed law, RA 10630 - amending Republic Act 9344;

WHEREAS, the standards for operation of BPAs that were set by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Juvenile Justice Welfare Council (JJWC) are not clearly defined. Some LGUs with BPAs, even if “operational” were not accredited by the JJWC;

WHEREAS, both the JJWC and Regional Juvenile Justice Welfare Council should oversee the implementation of this Act –nationwide and locally and ensure that there are BPAs, Intensive Juvenile Intervention and Support Centers and Barangay Councils for the Protection of the Child in place for the full implementation of the law;
WHEREAS, equally alarming is the fact that there are LGUs that have no BPAs at all in complete disregard of the spirit and letter of RA 10630;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, THAT THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON THE WELFARE OF CHILDREN CONDUCT AN ONSITE INVESTIGATION, IN AID OF LEGISLATION, ON THE DISMAL, UNSANITARY AND NEGLECTED CONDITION OF THE EXISTING FACILITIES BAHAY PAG-ASA, AND ON THE ALLEGED DETENTION AND INHUMANE TREATMENT OF CHILDREN IN CONFLICT WITH THE LAW INSIDE THE SAID FACILITIES

Adopted,

Legislation Type: