DILG to direct LGUs to put up respective Bahay Pag-asa
MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Friday made the commitment to direct local government officials to construct Bahay Pag-asa or child-reform centers in their localities for children in conflict with the law.
During the Senate hearing concerning moves to lower the age of criminal liability, Senator Richard Gordon asked Año if the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) could “do their share” in setting up Bahay Pag-asa.
To which Año answered in the affirmative.
“We can direct the LGUs to construct their Bahay Pag-asa,” Año said.
“We will require the LGUs starting with the provincial government and highly-urbanized cities (HUCs),” he added, noting that there are 81 provinces and 141 HUCs.
Año assured that there are available funds for the construction of the child-reform centers through the local government support fund.
Senator Francis Pangilinan, meanwhile, asked Año to submit the budgetary requirement for the constructions of Bahay Pag-asa so that they could still lobby for its budget while the bicameral conference committee is still deliberating on the 2019 budget.
During the previous Senate hearing on Tuesday, it was revealed that no budget was allocated for the construction of Bahay Pag-asa centers in the 2019 budget.
Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC) Executive Director Tricia Oco revealed that there are only 63 Bahay Pag-asa centers in the country, noting that some Bahay Pag-asa facilities do not reach the minimum standards for the child-reform centers due to insufficient budgets. /jpv
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