Butuan City- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office Caraga through the Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Committee (RJJWC) celebrated the 10th Year Anniversary of RA 9344 otherwise known as Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act (JJWA) of 2006 last May 20, 2016 at Agusan del Norte Covered Court, this city.

The event was participated by member agencies, Department of Health (DOH), Department of Internal and Local Government (DILG), Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), Department of Justice (DOJ), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) of Butuan, Department of Education (DepEd) together with attached agencies like the Children Sector, Youth Sector, League of Representatives for Province, City/Municipalities/Barangays, and two (2) Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) working for Child and Youth.

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Regional Director Minda B. Brigoli welcomes the participants of the 10th year anniversary of RA 9344

In her welcome message, DSWD Regional Director Minda B. Brigoli explained to the attendees the significance of conducting the event.

“Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed it into law last April 28, 2006 while the ceremonial signing followed on May 16, 2006. The law took effect on May 20, 2006,” explained Brigoli.

She also bared the objectives of the celebration.

“The activity aims to present the milestones (both National and Regional) in the implementation of RA 9344 as amended in the last 10 years. Aside from this, we also would want to recognize the valuable contributions and efforts of member and partner agencies and the Local Government Units (LGUs), on the implementation of the law, and to launch the current initiatives of the council to strengthen the implementation of the law.” Brigoli added.

“Prior to the enactment of RA 9344, a total of 52,576 children were in detention centers or under the custodial care of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) from 1995-2000. According to BJMP reports, majority of the jails all over the country have no separate facilities for children. Furthermore, many children suffer psychological, physical sexual abuses, rape and torture, and other forms of cruelty inflicted to children, hence, the age and distinct circumstances of children were not taken into account. Today, per first quarter of 2016 reports, there are 342 Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) detained in BJMP facilities nationwide, of whom, three (3) are in Caraga Region.” she cited.

“RA 9344 seeks to remedy the significant problems of the plight of children in conflict with the law in the Philippines. It recognizes the CICLs have basic rights protection, rehabilitation and prompt access to legal aid and other appropriate assistance. To ensure its effective implementation, it created the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC).” Brigoli furthered.

RA 9344 member agency representatives take a happy pose after the closing of the event.

“RA 9344 was amended by RA 10630. Some of its salient features include: the retention of the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) at 15 years old; strengthening of community and center-based intervention programs; creation of the RJJWC; and the provision of budget for the establishment of Bahay Pagasa, and among others.” Brigoli closed.

After the first part of the program, fun games followed.

Also present in the event were Assistant Regional Prosecutor from DOJ, Cristina Mae Q. Canedo, PS/Insp. Junalyn Suan, and RJJWC secretariat, Mr. Dante S. Rosales and Marieta S. Jandayan###SocialMarketingUnitDSWDFieldOfficeCaraga###

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