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Salient Features of Juvenile

Justice and Welfare Act

(RA 9344 As Amended By RA

By: Atty. Joan Dymphna G. Saniel

Children’s Legal Bureau, Inc.
Background and Rationale

• Over 3,000 children in detention (BJMP records)

• No separate justice system for children as they
are treated in the same way as adults
• Under the UNCRC and international instruments
on juvenile justice, the Philippines is obliged to
establish a comprehensive Juvenile Justice
Basic Principles
• Best Interest of the Child - refers to the
totality of the circumstances and
conditions which are most congenial to the
survival, protection and feelings of security
of the child and most encouraging to the
child’s physical, psychological and
emotional development. It also means the
least detrimental available alternative for
safeguarding the growth and development
of the child.
Basic Principles (2)
• Restorative Justice - a principle which requires
a process of resolving conflicts with the
maximum involvement of the victim, the offender
and the community. It seeks to obtain reparation
for the victim; reconciliation of the offender, the
offended and the community; and reassurance
to the offender that he/she can be reintegrated
into society. It also enhances public safety by
activating the offender, the victim and the
community in prevention strategies.
Child in Conflict with the Law
Child who is alleged as, accused of, or
adjudged as, having committed an offense
under Philippine laws
Minimum Age of Criminal
• Fifteen years old or under at the time of
the commission of the offense – exempt
from criminal liability

• Above 15 but below 18 years of age –

exempt from criminal liability unless
he/she acted with discernment
• NOTE: RA 10630 amending RA 9344 did
not amend the Minimum Age of Criminal
• The following are emphasized:
– A child is considered 15 years of age - on the
day of the fifteenth anniversary of his/her
– Exemption from criminal liability does not
include civil liability
– Those exempted are subject to intervention
Determination of Age
• CICL enjoy Presumption of Minority
• Age may be determined using:
- birth certificate
- baptismal certificate
- any other pertinent documents
• In the absence of these documents:
- information from the child himself
- testimonies from other persons
- physical appearance of the child
- other relevant evidence
Determination of Age (2)
• In case of doubt as to the age of the child,
the doubt shall be resolved in the child’s
• Any person contesting the age of the child
may file a case for DETERMINATION OF
AGE before the Family Court which shall
decide the case within 24 hours from
receipt of pleadings of all parties
Rights of CICL
• Right vs. Torture and Cruelty
• Rights vs. Capital Punishment
• Rights vs. Deprivation of Liberty
• Right to be Treated with Dignity and
• Right to Prompt Access to Legal and other
• Right to Bail and Recognizance
Rights of CICL (2)
• Right to Testify as Witness in his/her
• Right to Privacy
• Right to Diversion
• Right to Judgment Proportional to the
Gravity of the Offense
• Right to Limitation on Restrictions to
Personal Liberty
Rights of CICL (3)
• Right to Automatic Suspension of
• Right to Probation as Alternative to
• Right to be Free from Liability for Perjury,
Concealment or Misrepresentation
• Other rights under existing laws, rules and
Structures Involved
• Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC)
attached to DOJ but headed by USEC of DSWD
(already under DSWD as amended by RA 10630)
• Composition: reps nor lower than director of
and two NGO reps (additional members: DOH
and one (1) representative each from the
League of Provinces, League of Cities, League
of Municipalities and League of Barangays)
• Duties: implementation of law, policy
recommendation, program development,
coordination, research, inspections
Regional JJWC
(Added Under RA 10630)

• Department of Justice (DOJ);

• Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD);
• Department of Education (DepED);
• Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG);
• Commission on Human Rights (CHR);
• Department of Health (DOH);
• Two (2) representatives from NGOs operating within the region
selected by the RJJWC based on the criteria established by the
• One (1) sectoral representative from the children or youth sector
within the region; and
• One (1) representative from the League of Provinces/ Cities/
Municipalities/ Barangays of the Philippines.
Structures Involved (2)
• Child’s Rights Center of the CHR – ensure
that status, rights and interests of children
are upheld, monitoring government
compliance with treaty obligations
• Strengthening of LCPCs: 1% of IRA or
LGUs shall be allocated for this
• LGUs to appoint duly licensed social
worker as LSWDO tasked to assist CICL
• SK shall coordinate with LCPC
Establishment of Bahay Pag-asa
(Under RA 10630 instead of Youth Detention Homes under RA 9344)

• Each province and highly-urbanized city (the LGUs) shall

be responsible for building, funding and operating a
‘Bahay Pag-asa’ within their jurisdiction following the
standards that will be set by the DSWD and adopted by
the JJWC.
• Bahay Pag-asa refers to a 24-hour child-caring institution
established, funded and managed by local government
units (LGUs) and licensed and/or accredited
nongovernment organizations (NGOs) providing short-
term residential care for children in conflict with the law
who are above fifteen (15) but below eighteen (18) years
of age who are awaiting court disposition of their
cases or transfer to other agencies or jurisdiction.
Features of Bahay Pag-asa
• An intensive juvenile intervention and support center
(IJISC). This will cater to children in conflict with the law.
These children will be required to undergo a more
intensive multi-disciplinary intervention program.
• A multi-disciplinary team composed of a social worker, a
psychologist/mental health professional, a medical
doctor, an educational/guidance counselor and a
Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC)
member shall operate the ‘Bahay Pag-asa’. The team
will work on the individualized intervention plan with the
child and the child’s family.
• The JJWC in partnership with, but not limited to,
the DSWD, the DOH, the DepED and the DILG,
will develop and set the standards for the
implementation of the multi-disciplinary
intervention program of the IJISC.
• Upon institutionalization of the IJISC program,
the JJWC will continue to monitor and provide
technical assistance to the multi-disciplinary
teams operating the said centers.”
Treatment of Children Below
Age of Criminal Responsibility
• Child is 15 years old or below
• Immediate release to custody of parents/
guardian/nearest relative
• Notice to local Social Welfare and
Development Officer who will determine
the appropriate programs in consultation
with the child and the person having
custody over the child
Treatment of Children Below Age
of Criminal Responsibility (2)
• If parents/guardians/relatives cannot be
located or refuse to take custody, the child
may be released to:
- duly registered NGO or religious
- barangay official or member of BCPC
- local social welfare and development
Treatment of Children Below Age
of Criminal Responsibility (3)
• If child is abandoned, neglected or abused
by his parents, or if the parent will not
comply with the prevention program, the
proper petition for involuntary commitment
shall be filed by DSWD or LSWDO
pursuant to P.D. 603
Strengthening of Interventions
(Under RA 10630: For those Below MACR)

• General Rule: child shall be subjected to a community-

based intervention program supervised by the local
social welfare and development officer,
• Exception: If the child has been found by the local social
welfare and development officer to be dependent,
abandoned, neglected or abused by his/her parents
and the best interest of the child requires that he/she be
placed in a youth care facility or ‘Bahay Pag-asa’
• The child’s parents or guardians shall execute a written
authorization for the voluntary commitment of the child
• if the child has no parents or guardians or if they
refuse or fail to execute the written authorization
for voluntary commitment, the proper petition for
involuntary commitment shall be immediately
filed by the DSWD or the Local Social Welfare
and Development Office (LSWDO) pursuant to
Presidential Decree No. 603
Considered neglected child:
Children above 12-15 years of age who:
• Commit a serious crime
– NOTE: Serious crime include parricide, murder, infanticide,
kidnapping and serious illegal detention where the victim is killed
or raped, robbery, with homicide or rape, destructive arson, rape,
or carnapping where the driver or occupant is killed or raped or
offenses under Republic Act No. 9165 (Comprehensive
Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) punishable by more than twelve
(12) years of imprisonment
• Commit an offense for the second time or
oftener and already underwent community
intervention program (repeat offenders)
For Serious Crimes:
• Child shall be mandatorily placed in the ‘Bahay Pag-asa’
called the Intensive Juvenile Intervention and Support
Center (IJISC).
• Proper petition for involuntary commitment and
placement under the IJISC shall be filed by the local
social welfare and development officer of the LGU where
the offense was committed, or by the DSWD social
worker in the local social welfare and development
officer’s absence, within twenty-four (24) hours from the
time of the receipt of a report on the alleged commission
of said child.
• The court, shall decide on the petition within seventy-two
(72) hours from the time the said petition has been filed
by the DSWD/LSWDO. The court will determine the
initial period of placement of the child within the IJISC
which shall not be less than one (1) year.
• The multi-disciplinary team of the IJISC will submit to the
court :
– a case study and progress report, to include a psychiatric
evaluation report and recommend the reintegration of the child to
his/her family or the extension of the placement under the IJISC.
– a report on the services extended to the parents and family of
the child and the compliance of the parents in the intervention
• The court will decide whether the child has successfully
completed the center-based intervention program and is
already prepared to be reintegrated with his/her family or
if there is a need for the continuation of the center-based
rehabilitation of the child. The court will determine the
next period of assessment or hearing on the commitment
of the child.
For repeat offenders:
• Shall undergo an intensive intervention program
supervised by the local social welfare and development
• If the best interest of the child requires that he/she be
placed in a youth care facility or ‘Bahay Pag-asa’, the
child’s parents or guardians shall execute a written
authorization for the voluntary commitment of the child
• If the child has no parents or guardians or if they refuse
or fail to execute the written authorization for voluntary
commitment, the proper petition for involuntary
commitment shall be immediately filed by the DSWD or
the LSWDO pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 603, as
Responsibility of Parents:
• Based on the recommendation of the multi-disciplinary team
of the IJISC, the LSWDO or the DSWD, the court may require
the parents of a child in conflict with the law to undergo
counseling or any other intervention that, in the opinion of the
court, would advance the welfare and best interest of the
• The court may require the attendance of one or both parents
of the child at the place where the proceedings are to be
• The parents shall be liable for damages unless they prove, to
the satisfaction of the court, that they were exercising
reasonable supervision over the child at the time the child
committed the offense and exerted reasonable effort and
utmost diligence to prevent or discourage the child from
committing another offense.
Comprehensive Program
• Comprehensive Juvenile Intervention
Program covering 3-yr period shall be
instituted in the LGUs
• LGUs shall set aside amount necessary to
implement the program
• Participation of all sectors in the
formulation of the program
• Community based programs to consist of
three levels: primary, secondary and
tertiary prevention
Taking of CICL into
Custody LSWD
Assistance to
Initial Investigation by
the Police Suspension of
Sentence and Probation,
If diversion succeeds where
Diversion Measures allowed
No case filed
If no diversion or diversion fails
Preliminary Release on Recognizance,
Investigation Bail or Detention

Filing of Case in Diversion, where allowed Service of Sentence


Arraignment Pre-trial Trial Promulgation of Judgment

Taking the Child into Custody
From the moment the child is taken into
custody, the law enforcement officer shall:
• Explain in plain language reason for taking
into custody and offense allegedly
• Inform child reason for custody and advise
child of constitutional rights
• Properly identify him/herself and present
Taking The Child into Custody (2)
• Refrain from verbal or other forms of
• Avoid displaying or using firearms,
weapons or handcuffs unless absolutely
• Refrain from subjecting child to greater
restraint than is necessary
• Avoid violence or unnecessary force
• Determine age of the child pursuant to this
Taking the Child into Custody (3)
Immediately and not later than eight (8)
hours after apprehension:
- turn over custody to local social welfare
and development officer or accredited
- notify child’s parents/guardian and the
Public Attorney’s Office of the child’s
Taking the Child into Custody (4)
• A child in conflict with the law should only
be searched by a law enforcement officer
of the same sex and should not be locked
up in a detention cell
• Should detention of the child be
necessary, the child shall be secured in
quarters separate from that of the opposite
sex and adult offenders
Taking the Child into Custody (5)

• The child should be immediately taken to

the proper medical and health officer for a
thorough physical and mental examination
• Examination results shall be kept
confidential unless otherwise ordered by
the Family Court
Initial Investigation

• Record in the initial investigation:

– whether handcuffs were used and the reason
for such
– That parents/guardian, DSWD and PAO have
been informed
– Exhaustion of measures to determine age and
details of medical exam
Initial Investigation (2)
• The taking of the statement of the child
should be in conducted in the presence of
the following:
- the child’s counsel of choice or from the
- the child’s parent/guardian/nearest
- local social welfare and development
Initial Investigation (3)
• In the absence of the child’s
parent/guardian/relative and local social
welfare and development officer, the
investigation shall be conducted in the
presence of:
- NGO representative
- religious group
- BCPC member
Initial Investigation (4)
• After investigation
- if 15 below or above 15 but acted without
discernment – follow procedure for no
criminal liability, i.e. release to parents,

- if above 15 and acted with discernment –

proceed to diversion
• An alternative, child-appropriate process
of determining the responsibility and
treatment of a child in conflict with the law
on the basis of his/her social, cultural,
economic, psychological or educational
background without resorting to formal
court proceedings.
When can there be diversion?
• If the penalty for offense committed is not
more than 6 years imprisonment
• For victimless crimes where imposable
penalty is not more than 6 years
• If the penalty for offense committed is
more than 6 years imprisonment, diversion
measures may only be done by the court
Stages where diversion can
be conducted
• Katarungang Pambarangay – punong
barangay with the assistance of LSWDO
or other members of LCPC (child and
his/her family shall be present)
• Police Investigation
• Inquest of Preliminary Investigation
How is diversion conducted?
• Mediation, Family Conferencing,
• Contract of diversion executed:
– If child voluntarily admits the commission of
– Provide for the appropriate diversion program
– Effective and binding if accepted by parties
– LSWDO shall supervise the implementation
Factors in determing whether
diversion is appopriate
• Nature and circumstances of the offense
• Frequency and severity of the act
• Circumstances of the child (eg. age,
maturity, intelligence, etc.
• Influence of family and environment on the
growth of the child
• Reparation of injury to the victim
Factors in determing whether
diversion is appropriate (2)
• Weight of the evidence against the child
• Safety of the community
• Best interest of the child

Diversion Program - refers to the program

that the child in conflict with the law is
required to undergo after he/she is found
to be responsible for an offense without
resorting to formal court proceedings
Factors in formulating
diversion program
• Child’s feelings of remorse for the offense
he/she committed
• Parents’ or legal guardians’ ability to guide
and supervise the child
• Victim’s view about the propriety of the
measures to be imposed
• Availability of community-based program
for rehabilitation and reintegration of the
Kinds of diversion program
• Restitution of property
• Reparation of damage caused
• Indemnification for consequential damages
• Written or oral apology
• Care, guidance and supervision orders
• Counselling for the CICL and family
• Attendance in trainings, seminars and lectures
(anger mgt, problem solving, values formation,
other skills)
Kinds of diversion program
• Participation in available community-based
programs, including community service
• Participation in education, vocation and life skills
• Confiscation and forfeiture of proceeds of crime
(police level, prosec and court only)
• Written or oral reprimand or citation (court only)
• Fine, payment of costs of the proceedings (court
• Institutional care and custody (court only)
When will Diversion not
• when the CICL does not qualify for
diversion (i.e., more than 6 yrs
• when the child, his/her parents/guardian
does not consent
• when considering the assessment and
recommendation of the social worker, the
prosecutor determines that diversion is not
appropriate for the CICL
• Barangay level: forward records to law
enforcement, prosecutor or court within 3
• Police level: forward records to prosecutor
or judge for inquest or preliminary
investigation within 3 days
• Prosecutor determines probable cause
and information shall be filed with Family
Court within 45 days
Exempting Provisions
• Status offenses – any conduct not
considered an offense if committed by an
adult shall not be considered an offense if
committed by a child (i.e. curfew)
• Offenses not applicable to children:
vagrancy and prostitution, mendicancy,
rugby sniffing but shall undergo
appropriate counseling and treatment
• Exemption for death penalty
Status Offense Ordinances
(Under RA 10630)

• Ordinances enacted by local governments

concerning juvenile status offenses such as, but
not limited to, curfew violations, truancy, parental
disobedience, anti-smoking and anti-drinking
laws, as well as light offenses and
misdemeanors against public order or safety
such as, but not limited to, disorderly conduct,
public scandal, harassment, drunkenness, public
intoxication, criminal nuisance, vandalism,
gambling, mendicancy, littering, public urination,
and trespassing, shall be for the protection of
• No penalty shall be imposed on children and they shall
instead be brought to their residence or to any barangay
official at the barangay hall to be released to the custody
of their parents.
• Appropriate intervention programs shall be provided
such as counseling, attendance in group activities for
children, and for the parents, attendance in parenting
education seminars
• The child shall also be recorded as a ‘child at risk’ and
not as a ‘child in conflict with the law’
Prohibited Acts
• Labeling and Shaming
• Employment of threats of whatever kind
and nature
• Employment of abusive, coercive and
punitive measures
• Employment of degrading, inhuman and
cruel forms of punishment
• Compelling the child to perform involuntary
servitude in any and all forms
• Fine of not less than Twenty Thousand
Pesos nor more than Fifty Thousand
Pesos or imprisonment of not less than
eight years but not more than ten years or
both at the discretion of the court, unless a
higher penalty is provided under the RPC
or special laws.
• Additional penalty of administrative liability
and perpetual absolute disqualification if
public officer or employee
Exploitation of Children for
Commission of Crimes
(Additional Act under RA 10630)

• Any person who, in the commission of a crime, makes

use, takes advantage of, or profits from the use of
children, including any person who abuses his/her
authority over the child or who, with abuse of confidence,
takes advantage of the vulnerabilities of the child and
shall induce, threaten or instigate the commission of the
crime, shall be imposed the penalty prescribed by law for
the crime committed in its maximum period.

• NOTE: Also considered as Trafficking under the

Expanded ATIP Law (RA 10364)
Other Provisions of RA 10630
• Assistance to Victims of Offenses
Committed by Children
The victim of the offense committed by a child
and the victim’s family shall be provided the
appropriate assistance and psychological
intervention by the LSWDO, the DSWD and
other concerned agencies.
Information Management System
• JJWC shall lead in the establishment of a centralized
information management system on children in conflict
with the law
• Mandatory Registry of CICL - All duty-bearers, including
barangay/BCPC workers, law enforcers, teachers,
guidance counselors, social workers and prosecutors
who will receive report, handle or refer cases of children
in conflict with the law, shall ensure a faithful record of all
pertinent information, such as:
– age, residence, gender, crime committed or accused of and the
details of the intervention or diversion, as the case may be,
under which they will undergo or has undergone, of all children
in conflict with the law
– to guarantee the correct application of the provisions of this Act
and other laws
Budget and Appropriations
• The LGUs expected expenditures on the local
juvenile intervention program for children at risk
and children in conflict with the law shall be
included in the LGUs annual budget.
• Highly-urbanized cities and provincial
governments should include a separate budget
for the construction and maintenance of the
‘Bahay Pag-asa’ including the operation of the
IJISC within the ‘Bahay Pag-asa’.”
• Four hundred million pesos (P400,000,000.00)
shall be appropriated for the construction of
‘Bahay Pag-asa’ in provinces or cities with high
incidence of children in conflict with the law to be
determined and identified by the DSWD and the
• The LGUs concerned shall make available, from
its own resources or assets, their counterpart
share equivalent to the national government
contribution of Five million pesos
(P5,000,000.00) per center.
• Council may accept donations, grants and
contributions from various sources, in cash or in
kind, for purposes relevant to its functions,
subject to the usual government accounting and
auditing rules and regulations.
Thank you