AN ACT ESTABLISHING A COMPREHENSIVE JUVENILE JUSTICE AND WELFARE SYSTEM, CREATING THE JUVENILE JUSTICE AND WELFARE COUNCIL UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
TITLE, POLICY AND DEFINITION OF TERMS
Section 1. Short Title and Scope. – This Act shall be known as the “Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.” It shall cover the different stages involving children at risk and children in conflict with the law from prevention to rehabilitation and reintegration.
Sec. 4. Definition of Terms. – The following terms as used in this Act shall be defined as follows:
(b) “Best Interest of the Child” refers to the totality of the circumstances and conditions which are most congenial to the survival, protection and feelings of security of the child and most encouraging to the child’s physical, psychological and emotional development. It also means the least detrimental available alternative for safeguarding the growth and development of the child.
(c) “Child” refers to a person under the age of eighteen (18) years.
(e) “Child in Conflict with the Law” refers to a child who is alleged as, accused of, or adjudged as, having committed an offense under Philippine laws.
PREVENTION OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY
THE ROLE OF THE DIFFERENT SECTORS
Sec. 14. The Role of the Mass Media. – The mass media shall play an active role in the promotion of child rights, and delinquency prevention by relaying consistent messages through a balanced approach. Media practitioners shall, therefore, have the duty to maintain the highest critical and professional standards in reporting and covering cases of children in conflict with the law. In all publicity concerning children, the best interest of the child should be the primordial and paramount concern. Any undue, inappropriate and sensationalized publicity of any case involving a child in conflict with the law is hereby declared a violation of the child’s rights.
JUVENILE JUSTICE AND WELFARE SYSTEM
CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS AND PROCEEDINGS
Sec. 43. Confidentiality of Records and Proceedings. – All records and proceedings involving children in conflict with the law from initial contact until final disposition of the case shall be considered privileged and confidential. The public shall be excluded during the proceedings and the records shall not be disclosed directly or indirectly to anyone by any of the parties or the participants in the proceedings for any purpose whatsoever, except to determine if the child in conflict with the law may have his/her sentence suspended or if he/she may be granted probation under the Probation Law, or to enforce the civil liability imposed in the criminal action.
The component authorities shall undertake all measures to protect this confidentiality of proceedings, including non-disclosure of records to the media, maintaining a separate police blotter for cases involving children in conflict with the law and adopting a system of coding to conceal material information which will lead to the child’s identity. Records of a child in conflict with the law shall not be used in subsequent proceedings for cases involving the same offender as an adult, except when beneficial for the offender and upon his/her written consent.
A person who has been in conflict with the law as a child shall not be held under any provision of law, to be guilty of perjury or of concealment or misrepresentation by reason of his/her failure to acknowledge the case or recite any fact related thereto in response to any inquiry made to him/her for any purpose.
Sec. 62. Violation of the Provisions of this Act or Rules or Regulations in General. – Any person who violates any provision of this Act or any rule or regulation promulgated in accordance thereof shall, upon conviction for each act or omission, be punished by a fine of not less than Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) but not more than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) or suffer imprisonment of not less than eight (8) years but not more than ten (10) years, or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court, unless a higher penalty is provided for in the Revised Penal Code or special laws. If the offender is a public officer or employee, he/she shall, in addition to such fine and/or imprisonment, be held administratively liable and shall suffer the penalty of perpetual absolute disqualification.
Approved: April 28, 2006