Bicol's 1st Bahay Pag-Asa to rise in Camarines Norte

MANILA -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), through the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC), signed on Tuesday a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Camarines Norte province for the construction of a Bahay Pag-Asa Center, the first for Bicol region.

Bahay Pag-Asa, a 24-hour child-caring institution established, funded and managed by local government units (LGUs), provides residential care for children in conflict with the law (CICL). Republic Act No. 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 mandates the construction of Bahay Pag-Asa centers in 81 provinces and 33 highly urbanized cities in the country.

Under the agreement, the national government will allocate PHP10 million, lodged under the JJWC, for the construction of the Bahay Pag-Asa in Camarines Norte, to be called Center for Children in Conflict with the Law.

The provincial government, in turn, will provide PHP5 million and make available a 10,000-sq. meter lot for Bahay Pag-Asa. It will also ensure the logistical and manpower support for the operation of the center.

The DPWH, on the other hand, will construct the Bahay Pag-Asa.

According to JJWC, Camarines Norte was selected for the Bahay Pag-Asa construction project as its provincial government has a Comprehensive Local Juvenile Intervention Program.

Council members who were present at the signing ceremony were National Youth Commission Undersecretary Cariza “Aiza” Seguerra, Education Undersecretary Alberto Muyot, Social Welfare Assistant Secretary Hope Hervilla, Atty. Marijoy Segui of the Council for the Welfare of Children, and Human Rights Commissioner Leah Armamento.

Hervilla said Bahay Pag-Asa shows their commitment to care for the youth, even the CICL, and give them the opportunity to become better citizens.

Some 36 Bahay Pag-Asa centers are operating nationwide.(PNA)
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