PROSPERIDAD, AGUSAN DEL SUR – As a part of improving its services for the children in conflict with the law (CICL) in Caraga, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has inaugurated a new two-storey dormitory, June 20 at the Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY), here.
The dormitory with 80 bed capacity has started construction on September 10, 2018 under the Centers and Residential Care Facilities (CRCF) infrastructure projects.
Undersecretary for Social Welfare and Development Danilo G. Pamonag, who represented Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista, led the ribbon-cutting and blessing ceremonies of the said facility.
“It is with great joy that we see the construction of a new facility that will appropriately house our CICL, o iyong mga bata na minsang naligaw ang mga landas (or the youth who once had gone astray with their life decisions),” Pamonag said.
He also emphasized during his keynote message that through the CRCF, the department will be able to transform them and reintegrate them back to their community or society as working leaders.
“After all, this is what we try to see in this facility. We will not hold them here for a lifetime but only temporarily while we wait them transform into becoming better persons and integrate them again as useful members of the society,” Pamonag said.
Pamonag expressed that providing the children better facility will strengthen the programs of the rehabilitation centers such as in teaching them livelihood skills and discipline as well as in guiding them while their cases are still ongoing.
“Ang pagbibigay ng magandang pasilidad ay isa lamang sa mga isinusulong ni Secretary Bautista para mapangalagaan ang ating mga kabataan (Providing good facilities is just one of the aims of Secretary Bautista to protect the youth,” Pamonag added.
Protecting youth offenders
“Ako’y naniniwala na ang ating mga kabataan ay nagkakamali dahil sa apat na dahilan: kulang sa atensyon mula sa kanilang mga magulang, impluwensya ng kanilang mga magulang, impluwensya ng komunidad na kanilang ginagawalan, at dahil tulak ito ng pangangailan nila (I believe that the youth commit mistakes because of four reasons: lack of attention from their parents, influence of their friends, influence of the communities where they belong, and because of their needs),” Pamonag explained.
He also encouraged the guests to treat and take care of the CICL the way they take care of their own children.
“Lahat tayo ay may katungkulan at responsibilidad para maisatuwid at pangalagaan ang ating mga kabataan (We all have duties and responsibilities to correct and protect the youth),” Pamonag said.
Meanwhile, Assistant Regional Director for Operations Nerisa T. Murih said that the dormitory is a testimony of Caraga’s strengthened effort in service of the needing, the vulnerable and the disadvantaged.
“With the mandate to take care of these sectors, we are demanded a heart that is willing to offer unparalleled service and build a home for those in need,” Murih said.
CRCF infra projects
It can be recalled that the General Appropriations Act of 2018 has provided for an allocation of P2.3 billion for the development of all CRCFs nationwide wherein DSWD Caraga was given 61 million pesos for the improvement of its facilities.
“The CRCF project is an answer to the problem of congestion in our rehabilitation centers,” said Atty. Bernadette Mapue, who represented Undersecretary for Special Project and Infrastructure Management (SPIM) Camilo G. Gudmalin.
She said that amidst the issues surrounding the appropriations of the CRCF infrastructure projects, the field office Caraga has overcome these as seen by the inauguration of the RRCY dormitory and the near completion of another two-storey dormitory in the Home for Girls in Butuan City.
“We have a lot of services intended for our residents in the centers but we will not be able to effectively implement these if we don’t have the structure where this services will be delivered,” Mapue said.
RRCY in Caraga
The RRCY in Caraga Region was a joint effort of the DSWD Field Office represented by then Regional Director, Atty. Dulfie T. Shalim, and the Provincial Government of Agusan del Sur, represented by the then Provincial Governor, Honorable Valentina G. Plaza and Congressman Alex Bascug.
The provincial government donated the 1.7-hectare lot valued at P 1.5 million; Congressman Bascug gave 350 thousand pesos from his Lingap Para sa Mahihirap Fund for the construction of one cottage.
Meanwhile, the DSWD funded the construction of the other two cottages worth half a million pesos.
The center was inaugurated on August 28, 2001 and officially opened in full swing.
Since then, the center has accommodated and provided services to the CICL whose sentences are suspended or those with ongoing trials and hearings through court order. – MIKE ARIEL P. PLAZA/DSWD-CARAGA