Drilon: DSWD needs P2.5B for Bahay Pag-asa Centers
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) needs P2.5 billion from the proposed 2019 national budget for the establishment and maintenance of Bahay Pag-asa Centers for youth offenders nationwide, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on Thursday.
“This is to propose the inclusion of P2.5 billion capital outlay and MOOE (Miscellaneous and Other Operating Expense) allocations for the establishment and operation of Bahay Pag-asa Centers under the Department of Social Welfare and Development budget in the Bicameral Committee Report of the 2019 National Budget,” Drilon said in a letter to Senator Loren Legarda, who is also the chairperson of Senate committee on finance.
Bahay Pag-asa is a 24-hour rehabilitation center for children aged above 12 but below 15, who have pending cases in court as mandated by the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act (JJWA).
Drilon noted that there is a need for maintenance and construction of Bahay Pag-asa Centers nationwide because only have been constructed of which, less than half are operational.
“The law is reformative in nature and to achieve its objective, it requires the establishment of Bahay Pag-asa in all provinces and urbanized and chartered cities in the country,” Drilon said.
Drilon also said funding for Bahay Pag-asa is needed to strengthen the implementation of JJWA instead of allocating the budget for projects prone to corruption.
“We need to provide more funding support for the operation of Bahay Pag-asa. This is the key to more effective implementation of the law instead of putting billions of pesos in ‘farm-to-pocket roads’ or dredging, which is only prone to corruption. We should put the budget in something that is needed for the hope of our youth,” Drilon said./gsg
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