Crimes being handiwork of minors rating on par the hardened criminals already alarm Bohol officials, thus demanding a rehabilitation center that will cut the cycle.
Before construction materials hits another round of increase, the Bohol Youth Home that already passed muster at the round table has to get an allocation to get started.
This has been expressed in twin resolutions approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan during the regular session last Friday upon the move of Board Member Tomas Abapo Jr.
In the privilege speech, Abapo expressed alarm at how minors mastered daring theft and robbery even on church premises.
On this, Abapo moved to pass a resolution supporting the Regional Development Council (RDC) endorsement to funding institutions for the construction and establishment of the Bohol Youth Home.
Abapo also moved to pass another resolution requesting the three Bohol congressmen to help cause the immediate construction and establishment of the Bohol Youth Home by following up the RDC endorsement or find other additional funding sources in order to realize this project within the shortest possible time.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved the twin resolutions.
To â€œpaint a picture of true incidentsâ€, Abapo cited an incident where he had been a victim by a 14-year-old boy working in cahoots with an adult who stole valuable items from his car parked in the parking area of St. Joseph Cathedral while its owner was attending a holy mass.
â€œA boy about 14 years old leaned on the car. The purpose may seem to be innocent but actually, he leaned on the car to determine whether the car alarm would set off. Since there was no alarm, he transferred to the gate and acted as a look-out while a male adult broke the glass window of the car, took out the laptop and other valuables and calmly walked out. All these were done in broad daylight and in open space. I should know because I am the owner of the car,â€ according to Abapo.
In another incident, two minors broke into the house of Provincial Treasurer Eustaquio Socorin in Tagbilaran City and stole valuables and calmly walked out, as shown in the CCTV footage.
â€œThere are a lot of illegal drug dependents in our province which is the reason why we have so many juvenile offenders and children in conflict with the law (CICL),â€ Abapo pointed out in his privilege speech.
While the provincial government, the police and military authorities have been doing their best to curb crimes involving minors, often it proved futile â€œin the absence of a rehabilitation center for juvenile offenders and CICL in the province of Boholâ€, according to Abapo.
â€œThese offenders are released back to the community without undergoing any rehabilitation program. Thus, they again commit crimes by themselves or through the instigation of adult criminals,â€ Abapo pointed out.
With this situation, Bohol should establish a rehabilitation center for juvenile offenders and CICL â€œas soon as possibleâ€, he added.
Abapo noted that RDC-7 approved and indorsed to funding institutions, the construction of the proposed P98-million Bohol Youth Home (BYH) as also prompted by a resolution earlier pushed by Board Member Godofreda Tirol.
â€œWe find this proposal laudable as we support the earnest efforts of the provincial government led by our governor and vice-governor for the realization of this project. However, due to numerous criminal incidents involving minors, we cannot afford to just wait for the fruition of this proposed project. It has to be realized as soon as possible,â€ Abapo emphasized.
TheÂ Social, Economic and Environment Management (SEEM) cluster, headed by Liza Quirog, has been entrusted to follow up on the progress of the project.
Quirog earlier announced that they already found a site for the project which is in a three-hectare property of the provincial government in Bilar.
Tirol also said thatÂ the technical team of the provincial government already finished the engineering design of BYH and the provincial government just awaits now for the funding from the national government—one of the potential funders of the project.
Prior to the October 15, 2013 earthquake when prices of construction materials were lower, the estimated cost was pegged at P55 million.
Now, with the updated program of work, the project requires P98 million.
The youth rehabilitation center eyed in Bilar will be the long overdue component of the implementation of theRepublic Act 9344 or theÂ Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 and theÂ Presidential Decree 603 orÂ The Child and Youth Welfare Code.
Tirol also described earlier that the site in Bilar is very conducive for the diversion program required in the laws.
In consonance with the laws, female children admitted to the institution will have separate quarters from the male children in the institution.
There will be facilities for the psycho-social reform approach such as a chapel, recreation area, mess hall, counseling room, comfort rooms, play rooms, quarters and function halls for the sessions, according to Tirol.