Provincial center to rise soon
May B. Miasco (The Freeman) - February 11, 2019 - 12:00am

For children in conflict with the law

CEBU, Philippines — Children in conflict with the law (CICL) in the province will soon have their own center. This after the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) said they are expected to break ground of their Bahay Pagasa soon.

This development becomes timely as the proposal to lower the criminal liability age has been brought before the national legislature.

Hazel Padeos, focal person on CICL of PSWDO, said that the office is hopeful that the project, which will be run by the province, will break ground within February or the first quarter of 2019.

She said the center will be the first CICL facility in Central Visayas that conforms to the standard design formulated by the Juvenile Justice Welfare Council, which also supports the project.

She said the two-story center will soon rise within a 2,000 square-meter lot in Barangay Inayagan, Naga City. It will have a playground, chapel, and a basketball court.

Padeos said the office is looking forward to the completion of the project because it took two years to push for it while undergoing the rigorous process of planning to execution. She said construction is projected to last for four to five months.

The first phase of the construction (structure alone) has an allocated budget of P10 million from the provincial government while the second phase (finishing touches, facilities, and amenities) has P5 million from the JJWC.

Once it is operational, the center can accommodate about 70 to 80 persons or clients coming from the different municipalities and component cities of the province.

“This (project) will soon become a reality…and this will be the answer to the long-time problem of having not enough centers for CICL for the province where they can be sheltered temporarily. This may serve as a holding facility for children that are facing pending cases,” she said.

For now, the provincial government manages an activity center called “My Home” in Barangay Tayud, Consolacion, which has been operational since 2015.

However, the existing center can only accommodate a limited number of clients. Padeos said it has a bed capacity good for at least 30 persons.

She said the center houses children below 15 years old who have committed petty and serious crimes.

While children stay there temporarily within six months or one year, she said they are provided with rehabilitation services or psychosocial interventions like therapy sessions and recreational activities. (FREEMAN)

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