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Miscellaneous

Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act (JJWA) Awareness and Implementation of Practices

Valenzuela City JJWA
Mabuhay, Batang Valenzuelano : Barangay staff all over the City brushed up with their Juvenile Justice and Welfare, and Child In Conflict with the Law (CICL) rehabilitation knowledge in Forum facilitator by experts in the field, November 25, 2022. Facilitating the discussions were City Prosecutor Lemuel Nobleza (9th from left), Deputy Chief for Women and Child Protection Department, PLt. Jocelyn Ebora (6th from left) and Regional Trial Court Br. 16- Family Court, Hon. Mateon Altarejos (center) and Child Protection Center, head, Kristina Ramos (12th from left). Also in the photo are Valenzuela City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) social workers heady by Dorothy Evangelista (5th from left). The event was organized by (CSWDO) as part of a series of activities in celebration of Children’s Month 2022. (Kaye Magno, Photo/Text)

Valenzuela City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) celebrates Juvenile Justice Law’s pursuit in upholding dignity and rights of Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) through a forum at Events Hall ALERT Multi-purpose Building, November 25.

Carrying the Culminating Activity’s theme “Pagbabago ay Panigurado kung Tututukan natin ang Juvenile Justice Law”, positive and negative outcomes of JJWA, as well as other issues and concerns regarding the law were discussed to further raise awareness and improve a child-friendly justice system.

One certain positive outcome is that CICL can be rehabilitated without resorting to imprisonment or detention. PLT. Jocelyn Ebora, Deputy Chief of Women and Children’s Protection Desk (WCPD) stated, “Hindi lahat ng kabataang nagkamali ay kailangang nasa kulungan, kundi kailangan silang i-rehabilitate.” [Not all juvenile delinquents should end up in jail, but in rehabilitation.]

On the other hand, there are issues, such as CICL becoming a habitual wrongdoer while the victim gets disappointed with the justice system, PLT. Ebora, “Nagiging habitual offender ang mga bata kasi alam nilang hindi sila makukulong, hindi rin lahat ng biktima ay naa-accept ang batas ng JJWA at natatanggap ang kinahihinatnan ng perpetrator.” [Children often become habitual offenders as they know they will not be put behind bars, also, not all victims can accept the juvenile justice system.]

Valenzuela City JJWA
Safe Haven : Former client of Bahay Pag-Asa, John Renan Mauricio signs on the commitment wall during the Juvenile Justice Law forum at the ALERT Multipurpose Hall, November 25, 2022. During his tear-jerking speech, the former client who is now working as a hardworking Barangay Tanod in Barangay Gen. T. De Leon endlessly thanked the City Government of Valenzuela’s dedication to guiding every lost child. The former client is one of many success stories made possible with the help of Valenzuela City Social Welfare and Development Office. Currently, Bahay Pagasa houses 30 clients aged 13 to 18. Aside from its known top-notch intervention programs, Bahay Pagasa has in-house nurses, psychometrics, and house parents for the benefit of its clients on their spiritual, sports, and educational needs. (Kaye Magno, Photo/Text)

Correspondingly, Hon. Mateo Altarejos from Regional Trial Courts Branch 16- Family Court believes that the court is vigilant in handling cases involving children. “Ang pag-unlad ng bayan ay nakapaloob sa JJWA, kung kaya dapat ipanalo ang kabataan sa juvenile justice law.” [The development of the country pivot on JJWA, so children should attain the juvenile justice law.]

To further address the issues, another supplemental speaker during the forum representing the role he partake in JJWA, Prosecutor Lemuel Nobleza from the Office of the Chief of Police- Valenzuela stated, “Not all approaches are the same when it comes to child cases. The best thing that the government can do is to protect the children.”

Herewith SWDO Head, Ms. Dorothy Go Evangelista affirmed the City’s effort, “Sa Valenzuela, binibigyan natin ng importansiya ang isang bata, kaya nagtayo ang lungsod ng isang Child Protection Center composed of social workers, psychometricians, doctors, and the police who will listen to the story of every child and to provide immediate assistance… Our mission is to really reform each and every child and give them a chance to live a normal life again.” [In Valenzuela, we give importance to children, that’s why we built a protection center composed of social workers, psychometricians, doctors, and the police who will listen to the story of every child and to provide immediate assistance… Our mission is to really reform each and every child and give them a chance to live a normal life again.”]

Valenzuela City JJWA
Our Children, Our Future : Barangay staff all over the City brushed up with their Juvenile Justice and Welfare and Child In Conflict with the Law (CICL) rehabilitation without imprisonment knowledge in Forum facilitator by experts in the field, November 25, 2022. Facilitating the discussion were City Prosecutor Lemuel Nobleza, Deputy Chief for Women and Child Protection Department, PLt. Jocelyn Ebora and Regional Trial Court Br. 16- Family Court, Hon. Mateon Altarejos and Child Protection Center, head, Kristina Ramos. The event was organized by Valenzuela City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) as part of a series of activities in celebration of Children’s Month 2022. (Kaye Magno, Photo/Text)

In support to the enactment of the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act of 2006 or the Republic Act 9344, Valenzuela’s comprehensive juvenile justice system gave birth to Bahay Pag-asa halfway home for child offenders.

The City’s home for juvenile offenders lets them start anew as they get involved in discussions and activities. It is essential for them to express their ideas and views as they get a second chance in life and build dreams. Equally to what Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) Officer, Ms. Armie Amarante shared, “Every child in the world has one thing in common, it’s their right. Hindi sa kulungan kailangan humantong upang makamit ang hustisya.” [Every child in the world has one thing in common, it’s their right. Jail is not the answer to get the children justice.]

There are children who left Bahay Pag-asa, then served as community workers. Some are now a full-pledged Barangay Tanod mainting peace and order in their community. This only proves that Valenzuela City’s proper implementation of JJWA led to many success stories and has changed Valenzuelano children’s lives.

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