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PIA Press Release
2007/09/06

Only 50% of LGUs' peace and order councils functional

Cebu City (6 September) -- Local government units in Cebu may have complied with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) directive to create their own peace and order councils but only half of these special bodies are functional.

DILG-7 Assistant Regional Director Lilibeth A Famacion disclosed that after the May polls, all cities and municipalities nationwide are required to create their respective peace and order council to effectively address crimes in their locality through appropriate measures.

Famacion however, said only 50 percent of these special bodies are functional. Cebu has a total of 9 cities of which three have just been converted into a city-status this year through a plebescite and 47 municipalities.

Famacion added that the LGUs are also required to submit to their office the integrated area community safety plan after the creation of the special bodies. Some LGUs may have drafted their safety plan but they have failed to submit a copy to their office, according to the DILG-7 official.

One indicator to an increase in crime rate is a growing local economy as criminal gangs transfer to areas where there are more opportunities to conduct robberies, Famador said. This is why LGUs need to draft their own anti-criminality measures appropriate to their own area, this is learned.

Meanwhile, Famacion expressed opposition to the RA 9344 otherwise known as Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act authored by Sen. Francis Pangilinan which increased the age of minors from the previous 15 years old to 18 years old.

The DILG official bared most criminals are getting younger and that even as young as seven years old are now being used by syndicates as drug couriers. There is a need to study the law further regarding its implication, Famacion stressed.

Police officials in the region have also expressed their disapproval to the law as based on their crime statistics, most crimes are committed by juveniles and that increasing the age of minors would mean most criminals below 18 years old can easily hide behind the cloak of being a minor. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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