The Philippine Pediatric Society Inc. on Thursday opposed the lowering of the minimum age for criminal responsibility, saying the existing Republic Act 10630 had not been fully implemented.
Dr. Bernadette Madrid, the group’s child protection chairperson, questioned the approval of the bill setting the minimum age for criminal liability from 15 to 12.
“We don’t see why there is a need to lower the age,” she told the Manila Standard.
“If we put children at the Bahay Pag-asa center, what will happen to them? Aside from the lack of facilities, these facilities are not good enough,” she said.
She called on lawmakers at the Senate to maintain the minimum age of 15.
“How can one say that RA 10630 was not that effective when it was not even fully implemented?” she asked.
She said pediatricians backed the law and the implementation of interventions.
“We can provide proper services and therapy from professionals and not buildings,” she said.
“If you put together those 17-year-old ones and the 12-year-old ones, the younger ones would always be get bullied,” she added.
While the House of Representatives had passed on third and final reading the lowering of the minimum age for criminal responsibility, the Senate has yet to take up the bill for deliberation on Monday.