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AMENDMENTS TO JUVENILE JUSTICE AND WELFARE ACT OF 2006

(R.A. No. 10630, amending R.A. No. 9344)


BACKGROUND:
On October 3, 2013, R.A. No. 10630 was approved into law. While it maintained the
exemption from criminal liability of children aged 15 years old and below, the amendment
provides that children who are above 12 years of age up to 15 years of age and who commit
serious crimes shall be declared neglected children and shall be mandatorily placed in a special
facility. The law likewise imposes the maximum penalty for those who exploit children for the
commission of criminal offenses.
SALIENT FEATURES:
1. Creation of Bahay Pag-asa (R.A. No. 10630, amending Sec. 4 [s] of R.A. No. 9344)
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 15 but below 18 years of age who are
awaiting court disposition of their cases or transfer to other agencies or jurisdiction.
Part of the features of a Bahay Pag-asa is an intensive juvenile intervention and
support center. This will cater to children in conflict with the law (Sec. 4 [s] of R.A.
No. 9344, as amended).
Prior to the amendment, youth offenders are placed in a Youth Detention
Center. The new law, RA 10630, renames the temporary housing Bahay Pagasa and mandates the creation of a multidisciplinary team for the protection of
children composed of a social worker, psychologist or mental health professional,
medical doctor, educational/guidance counselor, and barangay council
representative.
2. Serious Crimes Committed by Children Who Are Exempt From Criminal
Responsibility (R.A. No. 10630, amending Section 20 of R.A. No. 9344)
A child who is above twelve (12) years of age up to fifteen (15) years of age and
who commits 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,
shall be deemed a neglected child under P.D. No. 603 (The Child and Youth
Welfare Code), as amended, and shall be mandatorily placed in a special facility
within the youth care faculty or Bahay Pag-asa called the Intensive Juvenile
Intervention and Support Center (IJISC) (Sec. 20-A of R.A. No. 9344, as
amended).
This is a new provision. Prior to the amendment, if the child taken into custody is
fifteen (15) years old or below, he shall be immediately released to the custody of
his parents or guardian, regardless of the crime committed. He will not be
considered a neglected child under P.D. No. 603. It is only when the said child is
found by the Local Social Welfare and Development Office to be abandoned,
neglected or abused, or that the parents will not comply with the prevention
program, that proper petition for involuntary commitment shall be filed by the
DSWD (Section 20 of R.A. No. 9344).
3. Repetition of Offenses (R.A. No. 10630, amending Section 20 of R.A. No. 9344)

A child who is above twelve (12) years of age up to fifteen (15) years of age and
who commits an offense for the second time or oftener shall be deemed a
neglected child under P.D. No. 603, as amended, and shall undergo an intensive
intervention program supervised by the local social welfare and development
officer, provided that:
a. the child was previously subjected to a community-based intervention
program;
b. if the best interest of the child requires that he/she be placed in a youth care
facility or Bahay Pag-asa, the childs parents or guardians shall execute a
written authorization for the voluntary commitment of the child; and
c. 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 P.D. No. 603, as amended (Sec. 20-B of R.A. No. 9344, as
amended).
This is likewise a new provision.

4. Exploitation of Children for Commission of Crimes (R.A. No. 10630, amending


Section 20 of R.A. No. 9344)
The law would impose the maximum penalty for those who exploit children such
as syndicates, for the commission of criminal offenses (Sec. 20-C of R.A. No. 9344,
as amended).
This is a new provision.
5. Violations of Local Ordinances (R.A. No. 10630, amending Section 57 of R.A. No.
9344)
No penalty shall be imposed on children for said violations, 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 (Sec. 57-A of R.A. No. 9344, as
amended).
This is a new provision. Prior to the amendment, a child may not be penalized for
status offenses, vagrancy, prostitution, mendicancy, and sniffing of rugby (Secs.
57 and 58 of R.A. No. 9344). With the enactment of R.A. No. 10630, the violation
of local ordinances is added to the list of offenses that shall not be punished if
committed by a child.