The past week has been another busy one for me hence the lack of regular updates. The good side is, I have tons of photos to share and stories to tell with all of you.
This would be the first one, the launch of the Bahay Pag-asa in De La Salle University – Dasmariñas last January 19, 2009. It was a star-studded event as TV/movie personalities who received their education from a La Salle school was present to grace the event.
Center for CICLs
The Bahay Pag-asa project is a juvenile rehabilitation center for children-in-conflict-with-the-law (CICL) or those are who minor offenders. Long before the enactment of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 or R.A. 9344, children below the legal age of 18 who have been caught committing offenses or have been accused of the same, where treated like any other adult offender; they were locked up in the same appalling jails and prisons, their rights as children and accused are neglected and they are subjected to inhuman and life-scarring experiences which already do more harm than being convicted and sent to regular prison.
Fortunately, the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 changed all of that and mandated that minor offenders be not put in the same detention cells as the adult offenders. More so, the law provides them the opportunity and chance, thru alternative child-friendly measures, to reform and be reintegrated into their family and community as a productive member of society.
Bahay Pag-asa aims to be that place where CICLs are taken care of and rehabilitated pending the resolution of their case. It is a sanctuary where the spirit and letter of Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 is followed and implemented.
Art for life
During the opening of Bahay Pag-asa, an art auction for raising funds for the center was held with the big names in business and Philippine movie industry as guests and benefactors.
TV host star Edu Manzano was host for the auction and he really knew how to work the crowd and entice them to take out their check books and score fine pieces of art work, created by some of the CICLs themselves, in order to raise much needed funds for the completion of the project.
Actor Diether Ocampo was also present to show his support for this worthy cause. He even bought a piece of artwork which he hotly fought for during the auction. The event was spearheaded by Anthony Pangilinan, Executive Director for Juvenile Rehabilitation of the PLDT Smart Foundation and DLSU-D and HSI President Bro Gus Boquer, FSC. Local government and police officials were also present to show their support for the project. After all, they too are important partners in implementing the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act.
The luncheon spectacle was capped by a wonderful performance of the Kundirana 2009 group from La Salle Greenhills.
It’s our calling
Completion of the Bahay Pag-asa is still on going and still waiting for more generous donors and benefactors. We hope that with this, those who would like to support this great cause would be encouraged to do so. It all starts by getting in touch with the PLDT Smart Foundation or DLSUD.
Together, let us build a better future for our children, especially those who are at risk and in conflict with the law.