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Capitol to build new facility for minor offenders

| by: Kelvin Cañizares

In response to the amended Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, the Cebu Provincial Government will construct a new special youth facility for children in conflict with the law, said Hazel Padeos, social welfare and development officer II of the province.

To be located in Barangay Tayud, Consolacion town in northern Cebu, a two-story building worth P10 million is expected to begin construction in August this year.

“The lot’s deed of donation is already signed by Gov. Hilario Davide III and Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale. We’re just waiting for the document to be notarized so we can proceed to the next phase of the project,” Padeos said.

Padeos said the funding for the construction will come from the Annual Investment Plan while the land is donated by outgoing Provincial Board member Griselda Sanchez.

The new building, which can house 60 to 70 persons, will nestle beside My Home, another care center facility run by the province for minor offenders aged 12 above and 15 years below.

The Justice Juvenile and Welfare Council under the supervision of the Department of Social Welfare and Development set the criteria for the building’s structural design.

Under the amended juvenile law, the child-care institution will be called “BahayPag-asa” and will provide an intensive intervention program and support center.

The law also mandates the Local Government Units (LGUs) to set aside one percent of their annual budget for the establishment of these special youth facilities for child offenders.

Padeos said the new care center is not only open to minor offenders whose age is 15 above and 18 years below but also to children aged 12 above and 15 years below who are considered recidivists or have committed serious offenses such as rape, parricide and murder.

These minors can stay from six months to two years in the facility where they will undergo an extensive rehabilitation program before they will be integrated back into society, Padeos added.