BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance naming the Social Development Center (SDC) in Balenben, Irisan as Bahay Pag-asa, appropriating funds and for other purposes it may serve.
The ordinance, authored by Councilor Maria Mylen Victoria G. Yaranon, stated the existing SDC building should be improved and designed to be gender sensitive using the counterpart share of the local government to the national government contribution in the amount of P5 million.
As provided in the amended Section 49 of Republic Act (RA) No. 10630, for each province and highly urbanized city, the local government shall be responsible for building, funding, and operating a Bahay Pag-asa within their jurisdiction following the standards set by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and adopted by the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council in their places.
Bahay Pag-asa refers to a 24-hour child-caring institution established, funded and managed by local government units and licensed or accredited non-government organizations, providing short-term residential care for children in conflict with law, who are above 15 but below 18 years of age, and who are awaiting court disposition of their cases or transfer to other agencies for jurisdiction.
On October 19, 2016, Yaranon proposed an ordinance for the establishment of Bahay Pag-asa, appropriating funds and for other purposes.
Yaranon asserted the importance of having a permanent center to cater to the needs of children in conflict with the law to provide them with the necessary assistance that will allow them to be able to recover from their problems and concerns and be brought back to mainstream society as responsible individuals.
She admitted coming in conflict with the law is one of the serious problems confronting today’s youth thus the need for concerned government agencies to converge their programs to allow these children to recover from situations that put them in their conflicted state and become dedicated citizens of the communities where they belong.
Earlier, the local government constructed the Social Development Center in Balenben, Irisan to serve as the temporary shelter of children in conflict with the law while being extended the needed interventions during the pendency of their cases before the different courts in the city.
Yaranon expressed her gratitude to the concerned government agencies for the put up of the Social Development Center and that she is optimistic that the local government will fully support the creation of the Bahay Pag-asa.
By Dexter A. See