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The State of Juvenile

Delinquency in the Philippines


and the Urgent Need for
Legal Reforms

Allan Jose J. Villarante


API Fellow, The Nippon Foundation
Research Intern, Japan Legal Aid Association

29 November 2002
Kokugakuin University
Tokyo, Japan
  The Philippine government has apparently
undermined the severity of juvenile
delinquency problem in society.
  This neglect has contributed to the upsurge
of juvenile-related crimes that has caused
enormous questions on the socio-political,
economic as well as security programs of the
government.
Definition of a Child

  Every country defines the concept “child” or “juvenile” in various


ways.

  In the Philippines, a child or minor or juvenile or youth is any


person below 21 years of age except those emancipated in
accordance with law.

  However, a juvenile or youthful offender refers to one who is over


9 years of age but under 21 years of age at the time of the
commission of the offense.

  A 9 year old child or under who commits a crime is exempted from


any liability.
The Filipino Children: A Situationer

  The Philippines is a nation of children

  Besieged by an infant mortality rate of


42.73 per 1,000 live births

  28% of children under age 5 are either


severely and moderately underweight

  26% of children from 1-6 years old


suffer from iron-deficiency anemia
The Filipino Children: A Situationer

 As of year 2000, 34.7 million children (45.9 % of 75.5 M


Filipinos) are under 18 years of age

TABLE 1. RATIO BETWEEN POPULATION AND BASIC


SERVICES

No. of Population Basic Services


113,040 people one (1) hospital
24,417 people one (1) doctor
22,309 people one (1) nurse
578,124 people one (1) dentist
722,654 people one (1) midwife
The Filipino Children: A Situationer

  Approximately 1.5 million street-children


all over the country with an average annual
estimated increase of 6,365

 Around 60,000 children are prostituted


with an annual average increase of 3,266,
making the Philippines the fourth in the list
of countries with the most number of
prostituted children

 1out of 3 Filipino children experience


abuse
State of Juvenile Delinquency

VAGRANCY
Table 2. Detained Persons Per Month for the Crime of Vagrancy

Sector No. of Persons Percentage


Detained (%)

Men 220 10
Women 630 28.63
Street-children and
poor and homeless kids 1,350 61.36

TOTAL 2,200 100.00


State of Juvenile Delinquency

INVOLVEMENT IN DRUG TRAFFICKING AND ABUSE


(2000)

Table 4. Extent of Drug Abuse Among Juveniles

Regular Users - 1,800,000


Occasional Users- 1,600,000

TOTAL 3,400,000

Source: UNICEF-Philippines
State of Juvenile Delinquency

SEX-RELATED CRIMES

Table 5. Sex-related Crimes Committed by Juveniles


(Age Range from 12-21 years old)

Sex-related Ave. No. of Ave. No. of Reported Percentage


Crimes Reported Cases Cases Involving (%)
Monthly Juveniles Monthly

{Rape,
attempted rape, 1,850 380 20.54
act of
lasciviousness,
molestation, etc.}
State of Juvenile Delinquency

COMMON CRIMES COMMITTED BY JUVENILES

Table 6. Philippine National Police Statistics 2000


on Common Crimes Committed by Juveniles

Murder and Homicide 118 2.5%


Physical Injuries
(normally caused by fights) 388 8.0%
Rape and Acts of Lasciviousness 583 12.0%
Robbery and Theft
(property-related) 2, 544 52.5%
Drug related 673 13.9%
Other Crimes 539 11.0%
Causes of Juvenile Delinquency

  Extreme poverty

  Lack of opportunity to attend school

  Family instability, disorganization and


violence

  Substance abuse

  Media influence and role-modeling

Filipino children who reach the age of 9 years old could be as good - or as bad - as an
adult under the existing system of treating juvenile offenders, where many of them are
charged and tried as grown-ups. Today, as many as 30,000 children may be growing
into adulthood in various city, municipal and provincial jails.
Problems with Juvenile Justice

  Prevalence of procedural loopholes


  Negligence and insensitivity
  Lower age of criminal responsibility
  Absence of a proper court of jurisdiction
  Social stigma and problems of reintegration
  Poor and congested jail and juvenile detention facilities
  Absence of lawyer/counsel
Functions of the Legislative Research Staff
Salient Points of the Proposed
Juvenile Justice System Bill
Salient Points of the Proposed
Juvenile Justice System Bill
Salient Points of the Proposed
Juvenile Justice System Bill
Salient Points of the Proposed
Juvenile Justice System Bill
Summary/Conclusions
THANK YOU.