Judge Mia Cawed of the Baguio City Regional Trial Court, and a member of the Cordillera Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council, stressed during the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD – CAR)- led virtual forum here on Tuesday.
Aside from government interventions and support of the civil society, Cawed also outlined the importance of parents and family members in instilling to children the right values and life skills that will help them in the discernment of what is right or wrong, which will guide them away bad behavior or deeds.
Restorative justice can truly help CICLs start a new life, “Boy” (name withheld) said during the forum. Boy , a former CICL was housed at the DSWD – CAR Regional Rehabilitation Center for the Youth (RRCY) in Sablan, Benguet, but he has reformed . He was able to graduate with his Social Work course and now preparing for his board exam.
Aside from the DSWD – CAR RRCY, there are also Bahay Pagasa Centers established in Abra, Kalinga and Ifugao which serve as child caring institutions that offer rehabilitation and intervention to CICLs.
RJJWC chairperson and DSWD – CAR Regional Director Leo Quintilla reported that in partnership with regional line agencies, the different local government units and other private partners, their goal is to ensure that needed interventions are readily available. The RRCY and Bahay Pagasa in the region offer a very comfortable or similar to a one – star hotel accommodation for CICLs.
The forum dubbed as “Ba-Li-Tok” Bata - Lipunan Talk was attended by RJJWC members youths from the Bahay Pagasa in Abra, Ifugao and Kalinga, and members of the Baguio chapter of the KKDAT or Kabataan Kontra Droga at Terorismo – Baguio chapter.
Representatives from the RJJWC members provided orientation on the role of their respective agencies in line with the five pillars of justice and on Republic Act 9344 or the Philippine Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act.
Quintilla shared that “Ba-Li-Tok” highlights the celebration of Juvenile Justice and Welfare Consciousness Week and aims to be a venue to discuss the concerns, not only of CICLs but also to look into the impact of the Coronavirus Disease to the health and welfare of the children.
As we share government programs from them, it is equally important that we hear it from the children, their needs and concerns in this time of pandemic, Quintilla said.
The Cordillera RJJWC leads the observance of the 9th Juvenile Justice and Welfare Consciousness Week on November 23 to 27, which for this year adopts the theme “Karapatan ng Bawat Bata sa Panahon ng Pandemya, Siguruhin, Pagpapatupad ng Juvenile Justice Law Pag-igtingin.” (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)
By Carlito Dar