DSWD urges gov’t to strengthen laws addressing juvenile crimes
The government must enhance its laws addressing juvenile delinquency instead of lowering the age of criminal liability, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Wednesday.
“Prevention of juvenile delinquency requires heavy state intervention than tinkering on the age of criminal responsibility,” Mae Fe Templa, DSWD undersecretary for Protective Operations Programs Group, said in a statement.
The DSWD official added that early childhood care and development as mandated under the Republic Act 10410 or Early Years Act needed to be strengthened to prevent juvenile crimes in the country.
“Structures of support such as those indicated in the Early Years Act (EYA) as an enhancement of the early childhood care and development programs and services are important in the prevention of anti-social behavior in young people,” Templa said.
Templa also asked local government units to properly train social workers in handling cases of children in conflict with the law and implement proper measures to address children involved in crime.
“Full and appropriate implementation of the law by duty-bearers, especially the local government units, is the urgent call. Equally important is for national lawmakers to urge local councils to issue enabling ordinances that increase their capacities to mobilize resources towards realizing the intent of the law,” Templa said.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III proposed to lower the criminal liability of minors to 12 years old, saying syndicates exploit children for crimes and illegal drug trade.
The Philippine National Police also showed its support for Sotto’s proposal. /jpv
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