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DILG issues guidelines on children who may have violated curfew, quarantine
A few residents spend the night at a covered court at Barangay 420 in Sampaloc, Manila after violating the curfew of the enhanced community quarantine midnight of April 23. The covered court is one of the four temporary detention facilities the local government will use once the 48-hour "hard lockdown" of Sampaloc, Manila is implemented. The temporary detention facilities are furnished with an audio-visual equipment that will show a some infomercials about the COVID-19 for the violators.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman

DILG issues guidelines on children who may have violated curfew, quarantine

(Philstar.com) - July 6, 2020 - 3:01pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Monday issued an advisory on how to handle children who may have violated curfew and quarantine protocols.

The DILG issued an advisory addressing its regional directors and the DILG Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao minister of local government on directives on handling children who violated curfew and quarantine rules.

The advisory was dated June 23, but the Department of Justice only shared a copy on Monday.

The directives, the DILG said, intend to “mitigate the risks of transmitting COVID-19 and prevent commission of violence against children.”

When children are outside homes during quarantine

In an advisory signed by DILG Undersecretary Marjorie Jalosjos, the department reminded law enforcement and local officials that they should explain to the Child at Risk (CAR) why they will be brought to the barangay hall. Vulgar or profane words will not be used.

Jalosjos is the undersecretary for Mindanao Affairs and Special Concerns.

CARs are children “who are vulnerable to and at risk of behaving in a way that can harm themselves or others, or vulnerable and at risk of being pushed and exploited to come into conflict with the law.” Under the memo, this also extends to children who violate local government ordinances, such as curfew violations or truancy.

The DILG told barangay officials and law enforcers to avoid violence and displaying or using firearms, weapon or handcuffs “unless absolutely necessary and only after all other methods or control have been exhausted but to no avail.”

Parents or guardians of the child should also be immediately notified and be asked to come to the place of incident or the barangay station. Custody will be immediately turned over to them.

In case parents or guardians could not be contacted immediately, the physical custody of the child must be turned over to the Local Social Welfare and Development Officer.

Interventions

The DILG also recommended the following intervention programs for children who commit violations in relation to rules on community quarantine and curfew:

  • Asking children to write or declare an apology
  • Continuous monitoring on the children
  • Online counselling for the child and family
  • Attendance in webinars or online lectures
  • Volunteering in community service programs

Meanwhile the DILG stressed that for minors above 15 who supposedly committed violations “that are not related to curfew or quarantine rules, the barangay officials and law enforcement officers shall strictly adhere to provisions of Republic Act 9344 as amended by RA 10630.”

“Implement diversion measures or alternatives to detention, especially during this time of pandemic. Detention of children should be highly discouraged as it is contrary to the best interest of the child,” the DILG also stressed.

On March 21, a barangay chairman in Santa Cruz, Laguna was slapped with multiple raps for locking up quarantine violators, including two minors, in a dog cage.

The DILG reminded local chief executives early in April to refrain from punishing children for violating curfew. “All administrative measures planned and implemented by government must preserve the dignity and welfare of every child where no inhumane or degrading punishment against children should not be allowed or tolerated,” the DILG and the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) said in a joint memorandum circular.  — Kristine Joy Patag with report from The STAR/Emmanuel Tupas

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
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