Butuan City-  The Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Committee (RJJWC) recently organized headed by the Department  of Social Welfare and Development oversees and ensures the effective implementation and the full benefits of the statute for the Children in Conflict with the Law ( CICL).

“For eight years after the passage of the Republic Act (R.A.) 9344 otherwise known as Juvenile Justice  and Welfare Act of 2006, the full benefits of law for the CICL have not yet been implemented,” DSWD Regional Director Minda B. Brigoli disclosed.

Regional Director Brigoli said that many have misinterpreted the law and there is lack of appreciation of its benefits to society that resulted to the amendment of some provisions of Republic Act 10630, an act strengthening the Juvenile Justice System of the Philippines amending Republic Act 9344 on October 3, 2014 .

“One of the provisions stipulated in the amended law is the transfer of the office of JJW Council to the DSWD,” Brigoli added.

The RJJWC is composed of permanent representatives who shall a rank not lower than an Assistant Regional Director or its equivalent to be designated by the concerned department heads. The members of the said committee are the DSWD, as the lead agency; Department of Justice (DOJ) to be represented by the Regional State Prosecutor (RSP) and Public attorney’s Office (PAO); Department of Education (DepEd); Department of Interior Local and Government (DILG); Commission on Human Rights (CHR); Department of Health (DOH); two representatives for the National Government Office (NGOs) operating in the region; one representative from the children and youth sectors within the region; and one representative from the League of Provinces/ Cities/ Municipalities/ Barangays of the country.

The amended Act provides for the establishment of a comprehensive and effective intervention program for children who committed serious crimes particularly those below the minimum age of criminal liability,” she noted.

The RJJWC envisions as a leading a society that promotes and protects the rights of children at risk and children in conflict with the law under a restorative justice and welfare system.

It is goaded with its mission that is to institutionalize a restorative justice and welfare system for children at risk and children in conflict with the law through the effective implementation of the law and coordination among stakeholders in a protective and enabling environment.

For its beneficiaries, it aims to prevent children at risk from committing crimes and to ensure that children in conflict with the law are rehabilitated and re-integrated with their families and communities.

Also, it endeavors to strengthen institutional partnerships in pursuing collectively and effectively the Council’s mission.

We are all duty bearers. We must make a stand and remain steadfast towards children’s safety net. We can be advocates for the children’s welfare and protection,” Brigoli concluded.

Presidential Proclamation no. 489 which has been signed by President Aquino on October 11, 2012 declared the fourth week of October as the Juvenile Justice Welfare Week in line with the annual celebration of National Children’s Month in October. ###( DSWD FO Caraga)