Juvenile reform centers get P1 billion proposed budget - Senate office


Posted at Feb 13 2019 02:54 PM

MANILA - The proposed national budget now includes P1 billion for the construction of the juvenile reform centers, a Senate office said Wednesday, almost 2 weeks after the House of Representatives approved a bill lowering the minimum age of criminal liability to 12. 

Funds for the reform centers dubbed "Bahay Pag-asa" were added under the proposed budget of the social welfare department, which supervises the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC), said the Senate Budget Research and Monitoring Office. 

A P1 billion budget is enough for 60 Bahay Pag-asa units, the office said. 

The funds do not cover expenses for the maintenance of the facilities, for which local governments would have to chip in, it added. 

There are only 55 state-run Bahay Pag-asa units and 3 privately run reform centers in the country, the JJWC earlier said. 

Some Pag-asa centers have a maximum capacity of 50 children and may not be able to accommodate a surge of underage offenders if the Senate passes counter legislation to bring down the current age of criminal liability from 15 years old, JJWC Executive Director Tricia Oco said. 

President Rodrigo Duterte sought the measure to further extend his deadly crackdown on drugs and crime, which has killed thousands since mid-2016. 

Report from Robert Mano, ABS-CBN News