Press Release
May 29, 2019

Statement of Sen. Francis Pangilinan on additional P1-billion for youth centers
Make Bahay Pag-asa real homes of hope, don't criminalize younger offenders: Kiko

While an increase in funding for the construction of more Bahay Pag-asa is welcome under the guidance of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, we are alarmed by the sudden P1-billion increase in budget (over 1,000%) and wary that this will not be utilized for its true purpose.

The problem has always been with the implementation of the law. More funding means more ways in which the law will be implemented, but it also means more ways in which the fund may be mismanaged.

More Bahay Pag-asa units is welcome as an avenue for restorative justice, for children who are only victims of their circumstance. It means that there is no need to criminalize children.

We need to ensure proper implementation of the law. Local government units need to revisit their thrusts as they share half of the responsibility in building Bahay Pag-asa in their jurisdiction. Is an appropriation of additional P1 billion really necessary to meet the need?

We hope the DSWD can provide a comprehensive plan on how to properly implement the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act and make Bahay Pag-asa real homes of hope without criminalizing younger offenders.

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