DILG advises local chief execs adopt protocol in handling child-related cases

MANILA-- Barangay officials are expected to handle child-related cases more effectively with the release of the Barangay Protocol in Managing Cases of Children at Risk (CAR) and Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL).

In a directive to local chief executives (LCEs), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Officer-in-Charge Catalino Cuy over the weekend urged them to adopt and utilize the protocol, which is a practical guide for barangay officials and other duty bearers to properly address and assist CAR and CICL.

He said that the Department was committed in being a partner of JJWC, and in upholding the provision of Republic Act 10630 (An Act Strengthening the Juvenile Justice System in the Philippines) to promote and protect the rights of CAR and CICL down to the grassroots level where children were building their core values within the community.

"As our country believes in the potentials of our children, we must also advocate in the rehabilitation and reintegration of our children who have been astray so that, they too, can look at the future with hope and enthusiasm," Cuy said in a press statement.

CICL refers to children who are alleged , accused of, or adjudged as having committed an offense under Philippine laws while CAR violate local ordinances concerning juvenile offenses; light offenses and misdemeanors against public order or safety; or offenses not applicable to children and exempt from prosecution.

The Barangay Protocol is a six-chapter manual containing comprehensive instructions to barangay officials on how to handle child related cases, initial contact, diversion proceedings, prevention programs, child custody, and other CAR and CICL interventions.

"Our barangays play a pivotal role in dealing with CICL and CAR. Being front liners of public service, they are the ones who must be discerning and knowledgeable enough to attend to the challenges that interactions with CICL and CAR pose," Cuy pointed out.

Aside from barangay officials, the barangay protocol is deem helpful to any barangay committee or appointed volunteer involved in child protection; barangay tanods; and members of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC).

Majority of the chapters within the barangay protocol like initial contact with the CICL; intervention program and custody of CICL without discernment; diversion of CICL; and preventing CICL deal with CICL cases while one chapter concentrates on CAR cases.

Electronic copy of the manual is available for downloads on www.jjwc.gov.ph or through the JJWC National Secretariat at 02-794-5508.Sammy F.

Source: Philippines News Agency