The Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) prove and stand together that there is no need in lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility.
According to the barangays of Bgy. West Bajak-Bajak in Olongapo City, Bry. Tuding, Itogon, Benguet and Bry. Culiat, Quezon City, the rate of juvenile delinquency decreased in their area after they have strengthened their BCPCs and after they started implementing the law.
Barangay Chairman Victor Bernardo of Bry. Culiat, Quezon City, has testified that through the proper implementation of their project called Tara! Usap Tayo in line with the JJWA proved that there is indeed a decrease in the number of Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) this 1st quarter of 2019 compared to 2018.
The Tara! Usap Tayo project encouraged children, including CAR and CICL to participate in different activities under the project like project theatre arts, healing sessions and advocacy campaigns.
In this, they discovered the root of the problems of children who are gone astray and was able to provide proper intervention programs.
Some of this is teenage mother was able to continue her education and a former CICL became an active advocate and continuous in sharing his experiences which serves as an inspiration for other children at risk to change their ways.
Stand Against MACR
Mr. Romeo Dongeto of PLPCPD, said “It is our effort to oppose the lowering of MACR, our advocacy is to implement the JJWA and role of the Barangay on no to lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility. There is no evidence that the lowering of the minimum age of criminal responsibility will prevent children to re-offend.”
That despite the call of the current administration to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility, the BCPC members call on to the community to stand against it and instead call on for the proper implementation of the law.
284 community leaders and volunteers from different barangays in Tacloban, Benguet, NCR, Bulacan, La Union, Bicol and Davao gathered on 2019 Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) Congress last May 29 and 30 in Sta. Maria, Bulacan.
During the Congress other barangays also shared their unique and trailblazing practices in promoting and protecting the rights of children especially the CAR and CICL.
Through their programs, the number of children and youths who are CAR was decreased in their area because CAR is the priority of BCPC in their community.
“The stories of these barangays and BCPCs from different parts of the country only prove that there is no need to amend the law to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility; we only need to properly implement the law and strengthen the local governments to address the problem of juvenile delinquency,” said Atty. Rommel Abitria, HLAF executive director.