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DSWD, attached agency officials inspect Palawan agricultural campsite

Senior officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and its attached agency, the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC) conducted an ocular visit of Camp Montible at the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (IPPF) in Palawan last April 26.

DSWD Undersecretary for International Affairs, Attached and Supervised Agencies (ASAs) Emmeline Aglipay-Villar said the inspection of the proposed agricultural campsite will be of great assistance to protect and uphold the rights of children in conflict with the law (CICLs).

“This agricamp is a big step toward helping the CICL live the rest of their lives being fulfilled and productive individuals. I hope that everyone will see that there is so much hope for the CICL and that everyone will have compassion for them because these children are victims themselves,” Undersecretary Villar said.

An agricamp is where children convicted of a criminal offense will serve their sentence instead of confinement in a regular penal institution, which is mandated under section 51 of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act (JJWA) as amended and Rule 199 of the Presidential Decree 603 or the Child and Youth Welfare Code of 1974.

The 150-hectare agricultural land in Camp Montible is suitable for agricultural activity, eco-tourism, and rehabilitation and reintegration programs for CICLs serving their sentence.

“The physical environment plays a significant role in the healing and successful rehabilitation of a CICL. Thus, the agricamp design resembles a community set-up where the CICL could engage in economic, social, and capacity-building activities for their continued development and rehabilitation,” JJWC executive director Atty. Tricia Clare Oco said during the Palawan visit.

Other officials present in the site visit were DSWD Asst. Secretary Elaine F. Fallarcuna, Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Senior Inspector Carmencita Bravo, and officials from the DSWD Field Office MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan).

Camp Montible is the second proposed pilot area for an agricultural camp in Luzon. The first pilot area is in Pampanga where a memorandum of agreement (MOA ) was signed on April 24 among representatives of the DSWD, JJWC, BuCor, and the Pampanga State University.

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