“The very reason for our existence is that we live for the sake of others. We exist to help those who are in need, including children who are in conflict with the law and children at risk.”
This was the statement of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 2 (DSWD FO2) Regional Director Lucia Alan as she presided over the Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Committee (RJJWC) 3rd Quarterly Meeting, hosted by The Good Shepherd Shelter for Children, Inc., in Lal-lo, Cagayan, on October 14, 2022.
The meeting focused on the updates regarding the agencies’ ways in improving their services to Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) and Children at Risk (CAR). Main concerns were the establishment of a Bahay Pag-asa in the region’s major cities, lowering the number of CICLs and CARs in the region, continuous provision of technical and educational services to CICLs and CARs despite face-to-face classes, and the extent of the media’s coverage with regards to the protection of the privacy of the CICLs and CARs, among others.
The meeting was attended by various agencies in Cagayan Valley, namely, RJJWC Secretariat, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd) – Cagayan National High School (CNHS), City Social Welfare and Development Office Tuguegarao, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Offices in the region, Bahay Pag-asa Cauayan City, Balay Namnama Santiago City, and Cauayan City, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP), and Oasis Psychological Testing and Counseling Center.
Non-government organizations were also part of the meeting, namely St. Paul University of the Philippines Community Development Center Foundation and The Good Shepherd Shelter for Children, Inc.
Moreover, the RJJWC will be conducting its 4th Quarterly Meeting by November of this year, to discuss further improvement of its services.
The RJJWC was created pursuant to Republic Act No. 10630 or An Act Strengthening the Juvenile Justice System in the Philippines. This council aims to foster a society that promotes and protects the rights of children at risk and children in conflict with the law under a restorative justice and welfare system.