TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan (PIA) - - Members of the Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (RJJWC) region 2 have attested that the number of children in conflict with the law (CICL) is increasing in the region.
Shiela Marie T. Apostol, focal person from Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office No. 2, said there are 25 youth offenders who are now under the custody of the DSWD's Regional Rehabilitation for the Youth, 16 at Isabela's Bahay Pag-asa and 11 at Santiago City Rehabilitation Center.
"That is why we are intensifying our advocacy efforts to seek support from various sectors to look into possible programs that will eliminate cases involving children," Apostol said.
Prosecutor Maria Liza Guzman of the Department of Justice Region 2 attested that there are CICL cases filed in their prosecution office where majority are involved in illegal drugs and rape cases.
"In the first quarter of this year, we also observed a surge in the CICL cases brought to our office. I do hope that we will be able to lessen these cases in the region," Guzman said.
On his part, Neil Cumigad, president of the Association of Guidance Counselors in Region 2, said they require all schools to discuss juvenile justice and welfare during meetings with parents for them to guide and monitor always their children.
"Majority of the CICLs came from dysfunctional families. These are children whose parents are working abroad or are busy people. No one guides them, no one monitors their activities," he said.
On the other hand, Cauayan City and Santiago City have established their respective Bahay Pagasa. Nueva Vizcaya LGU is already constructing its own Bahay Pagasa while Quirino is also planning to establish its own. (MDCT/OTB/PIA Region 2)