Quezon City, Philippines- To bring the issues of prison condition and reintegration of ex-detainees in Quezon City, the Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation (HLAF), represented by HLAF’s Executive Director, Atty. Rommel Alim Abitria and HLAF’s Program Officer, Atty. Kristoffer Claudio, together with HLAF interns, made a courtesy call to the Quezon City Mayor, Hon. Herbert Bautista, at the Office of the Mayor last July 7.
During the meeting, the Mayor of Quezon City impressed HLAF with his deep understanding of the conditions of inmates. He even presented his plan of action in order to alleviate the condition of the inmates.
In the courtesy call, HLAF called the Mayor’s attention that the city also needs to have a reintegration policy and program for ex-detainees. The Quezon City Mayor responded by challenging HLAF to come up with a policy research and proposal. To date, HLAF interns, Naereeza Bainto, Maria Luisa Villarin, Gian Miko Arabejo and Camille Mendoza, are now conducting the preliminaries of the research.
HLAF also noted the reintegration program for children at risk (CAR) and children in conflict with the law (CICL) and mentioned to Mayor Bautista that HLAF was also a part of the consortium that trained Quezon City’s Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC).
HLAF’s partner barangays on Quezon City were already empowered regarding handling CARs and CICLs as they were trained by HLAF Center for Restorative Action program. HLAF also reported that most of Quezon City’s BCPCs who have undergone advanced training are now very active in properly implementing the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act.
The meeting ended with the mutual promise to support each other’s programs on jail decongestion and to build the capacities of the barangay in properly implementing the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act.