City sets rehab for children’s crimes

Citizens laud the government initiative of starting the operation of rehabilitating juvenile delinquents who get entangled with the law. As minors these “young criminals” will be rehabilitated instead of sent to jail.

These juvenile delinquents are accused of several offenses to include: theft, carnapping, hit and run, illegal gambling, shoplifting, sexual harassment, acts of lasciviousness, illegal drugs and even those with commitment orders from the courts.

Last year alone 58 juveniles were provided temporary care, treatment and rehabilitation for Children-in-Conflict with the Law at Youth Home run by the city government.

At present there are about 23 residents at the Youth Home, all boys, with additional 2 who are victims of sexual abuse. Their movements are restricted by a trained staff that operates a structure of therapeutic environment with the end view of reintegrating these children back into their families and communities as socially functioning individuals.

While they are accused of serious offenses, yet juvenile delinquents are still given the opportunity to learn anew the good values and strong moral convictions so they will not only repent of their sins but become productive members of their communities.

Another project involves the creation of a Children-at-risk Center as temporary shelter for children below 14-years old who have committed petty crimes or abused, neglected, throwaways, vagrants, etc.

In contrast, 70 children who are abandoned, neglected, physically abused, victims of child labor, illegal recruitment and trafficking are provided special protection by the city government through Local Council for the Protection of Children and CSWDO including the La Casa Esperanza Crisis Center as temporary residential care facility for individuals in crises situation.

Furthermore, in compliance to the recently passed Ordinance Revising the Dumaguete City Children’s Code of 2000” authored by Councilor Lilani Ramon just this week, the city must establish the Bahay Pag-asa to provide short term residential care for Children-in-Conflict with the Law who are awaiting court disposition of their cases.