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Ampeloquio, Karen S.

JD1B – Legal Research

INTRODUCTION

On April 28, 2006, the Philippine Congress approved Republic Act No. 9344, or The

Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006. This law aims to address the increasing rate of

crimes committed by minors. It also enumerates the penalties, sanctions, and alternative

remedies to be imposed on minor offenders, since they are not covered by the Revised Penal

Code thus far. Some of the most commonly committed crimes by minors are theft and those

which constitute civil disturbance (e.g. riots, unlawful obstructions, etc.).

What is saddening is that the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 proved to be a far

inadequate measure as a deterrent to juvenile crimes. As a matter of fact, the juvenile crime rate

in the recent years escalated further, making it seem as if the passage of said law served as a

catalyst to the chaotic outcome instead.

On October 3, 2013, President Aquino signed into law Republic Act 10630, an

amendment to the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.

However, the new law did not change the minimum age of criminal responsibility, which

remains at 15. Some sectors have called on Congress to amend the provisions on the minimum

age of liability, noting that offenders are getting younger, but the Department of Social Welfare

and Development is not in favor of such amendment, saying that children in conflict with the

law are also victims.

The purpose of this study is to examine the amendments to the provisions concerning the

minimum age of criminal responsibility and to establish the need, if any, for its passage.
Additionally, this paper seeks to identify the relationship between the demographic profiles of

the respondents and their level of awareness on the current Juvenile Justice Act, as well as their

favorability on the proposed amendments to the provisions concerning the minimum age of

criminal responsibility.