Pangilinan wary of P1 B budget for Bahay Pag – asa
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan is questioning the increase in the appropriation for the construction of Bahay Pag-asa or halfway houses / reform centers for youth offenders to P1 billion.
“While an increase in funding for the construction of more Bahay Pag-asa is welcome under the guidance of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, we are alarmed by the sudden P1 billion increase in budget (over 1,000 percent) and wary that this will not be utilized for its true purpose.” the opposition senator said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The problem has always been with the implementation of the law,” he added.
“More funding means more ways in which the law will be implemented, but it also means more ways in which the fund may be mismanaged,” Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan asserted that more Bahay Pag-asa units is welcome “as an avenue for restorative justice, for children who are only victims of their circumstance.”
“It means that there is no need to criminalize children,” he said.
The senator also said that local government units need to revisit their thrusts, adding that they share half of the responsibility in building Bahay Pag-asa in their jurisdiction.
“We hope the DSWD can provide a comprehensive plan on how to properly implement the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act and make Bahay Pag-asa real homes of hope without criminalizing younger offenders,” Pangilinan said. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)
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