Councilor Catherine M. Martinez (May 24, 2021)

Voting 9-0, the Sanggunian Bayan (SB)  of Buhi has approved on 3rd and final reading Municipal Ordinance 21-242, which establishes 24-hour residential care for children at risk and children in conflict with the law.

The measure was authored by children’s welfare advocate Councilor Catherine Martinez.

Martinez said that the ordinance should cover all criminal cases involving children in conflict with the law, which at the time of the commission of the offense is below 18 years old but not less than 15 years and one day old.

Martinez added that the ordinance’s passage is the SB’s response to the clamor from parents to provide privacy and protection to those who are helpless in times of crisis.

The 24-hour temporary shelter will house children and youth while awaiting commitment at the Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth at Pangpang, Sorsogon City, Martinez explained.

The children’s home to be established shall be financed by the annual expenditure program of the municipality under the one percent children’s welfare and protection fund.