Press Release
September 15, 2011

Jinggoy: Foster Care system is answer to problem of juvenile delinquents

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada says that an institutionalized foster care system could answer today's problem of juvenile delinquents or the young who are involved in crimes and are in conflict with the law.

Senate recently approved on Third and Final Reading Senate Bill 2486 or an Act to strengthen and propagate foster care for the abused, abandoned, neglected and other children with special needs.

"While foster care is more of the long-term approach to the problem, I personally maintain that the youth must be provided special protection from all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation. We must not let the youth live on and roam the streets where they are exposed to all types of danger and harmful influences and unfortunately become a menace to society," Sen. Estrada, principal author of the Foster Care Act, said.

Under the proposed measure, children under the age of eighteen (18) who are orphaned, abused or abandoned; whose family members are unable to provide the child with adequate care; or who committed a minor offense but is released on recognizance or is in custody supervision, among others, may be placed on foster care of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) - licensed parents.

Sen. Estrada said, "Instead of putting the child in an institution, foster homes can be the best substitute because of the social and emotional values can offer to children who are in need of love, care and attention and can provide an atmosphere where a child can experience a healthy family life."

Sen. Estrada also urged his colleagues to move toward the enactment of the proposed measure, amid calls to revisit and amend the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006. A similar bill, House Bill 4481, was approved by the House of Representatives on final reading on May 23, 2011.

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