Pediatricians oppose bill on age of crime responsibility

Credit to Author: clopez| Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2019 21:32:43 +0000

The country’s leading association of pediatricians on Wednesday joined human rights and child welfare groups in opposing the bill that would lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 15 years old.

Dr. Salvacion Gatchalian, president of the Philippine Pediatric Society Inc. (PPS), said the group was sticking to its official statement in 2016 that strongly objected to lowering the age to 9.

In a statement, PPS and Filipino child experts from Child Protection Unit, Philippine Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and Philippine Society of Adolescent Medicine upheld the “scientific and medical” basis for maintaining 15 years old.

Not consulted


PPS and the others said the government should instead fully implement the current juvenile justice law.

The original bill that would lower the minimum age to 9 was approved by the justice committee of the House of Representatives on Monday. The proposed law was passed on second reading by the House on Wednesday but raised the age to 12.

Raising the age to 12 would make “no difference,” said Dr. Bernadette Madrid, a member of the Council for Community and Child Advocacy and executive director of Child Protection Network Foundation Inc.

“We maintain our previous stand [to keep it at 15],” she said.

Dr. Jean Poblete, a pediatrician for 25 years and a Filipino child health care advocate, said the proposed law would oppress voiceless children./ac