MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has approved a law allowing courts to penalize those who committed minor offenses with community service.
Duterte signed on Aug. 8 Republic Act No. 11362 or the Community Service Act which allows courts to mete out community service as punishment instead of jail time from 1 to 30 days.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said these minor offenses include causing alarm and scandal, malicious mischief, intentional breakage of others' goods, and causing riot in a religious activity.
Community service will be done in places where the crimes were committed. The court will determine how long it would be, depending on the gravity of the crime.
Offenders will have to undergo rehabilitative counseling led by a social welfare and development officer. Courts should also consider if the offender in question would repeat his or her offenses again, the measure read.
If the offender violates his or her terms regarding community service, the court may again order arrest.
The Department of Justice, along with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, will implement the said measure. - Report from Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News