The city government takes the lead in the long overdue establishment of local government units’ component in the implementation in Bohol of the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act and The Child and Youth Welfare Code.
The City Mayor’s Office confirmed the long-awaited operation of the Paglaum Center, the core of the diversion program required from LGUs under the laws, is now on its finishing touches.
The city government already completed the building, but still faces the meticulous staffing process.
Topping the concern is the screening of a licensed psychologist to man the center, one that can brave the tough job of dealing with children (or child) in conflict with the law (CICL).
The center for the diversion program is required for the full implementation of the Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 and the Presidential Decree 603 or The Child and Youth Welfare Code.
In consonance with the laws, female children admitted to the institution will have separate quarters from the male children in the institution.
There will be facilities for the psycho-social reform approach such as a chapel, recreation area, mess hall, counseling room, comfort rooms, play rooms, quarters and function halls for the sessions.
Tagbilaran City’s Paglaum Center is designed to provide skills training, sports facilities and other personality enhancement tools to ensure that a juvenile delinquent will be reformed into a law-abiding citizen and useful individual the moment he steps out and reintegrates into the community.
The city needs effective guidance counselors to assist in the reformation of the youth offenders.
The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) earlier admitted that the absence of a rehabilitation center made it difficult for them to implement RA 9344.
Pending the operation of the Paglaum Center, the CSWDO remains in quandary where to place the youth offenders who will be turned over to them by law enforcers.
There was a case in the past where The CSWDO had to deal with a minor who had been turned over to them for a number of times, until he was finally turned over to a rehabilitation center in Argao.
In most cases, the youth offenders turned over to them by the city police could easily escape and go back to the streets until they become habitual offenders, according to CSWDO.
Since the Paglaum Center is designed for CICLs, the city government still faces a dilemma on concerns about rugby boys.
The CSWDO continues to formulate a program for rugby boys who are considered as misguided youth, short of CICL within the definition of the law.
For over two years, the CSWDO had been monitoring the rugby boys, with the assistance of members of theActive Local Emergency Response Team (ALERT).
Another dilemma that the city government now faces is how to deal with the accountability of the parents of the rugby boys, since they also have other children to attend to and needs their presence in their households.