University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance held a forum on Juvenile Justice and Welfare at the NCPAG Assembly Hall last Friday, February 15. (photo by Laiser de Guia, BS Development Communication student from Batangas State University)
Through the initiative, “Future of Children: Implementation of Juvenile Justice Welfare Act,” the forum brought together representatives from LGUs, experts, and stakeholders from different sectors who discussed good practices and the gaps in the implementation of the law, implications of lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility, and the realities on the ground.
The said forum had two panel sessions – Restoring Children in Conflict with the Law: Good Practices and Challenges from LGU Perspective and Making it Work: Collaboration Towards Effective Juvenile Justice and Welfare System in the Philippines. Presenters from different barangays, municipalities, cities and representatives from other sectors shared their practices and thoughts regarding various issues regarding children.
Atty. Rommel Abitria, Executive Director of the Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc. (HLAF) and one of the presenters briefly discussed the mandates of the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act and the realities on the ground. He also highlighted the Center for Restorative Action, the organization’s program that focuses on restorative justice and strengthening of Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children (BCPC).
The forum also included a public screening of the film “Bunso,” the award-winning documentary about three boys detained in Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center. They also held a round table discussion on JJWA implementation in which a representative from HLAF sat down, along with other stakeholders, and pledged a commitment in helping on the strengthening the implementation of the said law.