Jailing kids no answer to rising criminality, says DSWD exec | Inquirer News

Jailing kids no answer to rising criminality, says DSWD exec

/ 03:38 AM May 23, 2012

The Philippines will not solve the problem of rising criminality by sending more children to jail.

The Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC) has opposed a House bill seeking to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility to over 12 years old.


The House of Representatives on Monday passed on second reading House Bill 6052, which would allow the criminal prosecution of children who are just over 12 if they had acted with discernment.

The bill seeks to amend the Juvenile Justice Law, or Republic Act No. 9344, which states that children 15 years old or younger are exempted from criminal liability.


Alicia Bala, a Department of Social Welfare and Development undersecretary who chairs the JJWC, said prosecuting children as young as 12 would also signify that the authorities had given up on the children.

Bala said it was too early to judge the Juvenile Justice Law because it had yet to be implemented properly.

“It is premature to judge RA 9344 and submit it to amendment. More critically, it’s unfair to the children because it is as if we’ve given up on them. We have no basis to say that RA 9344 is not effective simply because we have not fully implemented it,” Bala said in a statement.

According to her, the problem of rising criminality would not be fixed by sending erring children to jail. She said children in conflict with the law should not be treated by the state as hardened criminals but as victims of circumstances beyond their control. Leila B. Salaverria

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Children, Congress, Crime, DSWD, Justice, juvenile justice law, law, Legislation, social welfare
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

News that matters

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.