Random Thoughts

Word of caution

By Leonardo Micua

MANY say Congress is treading on dangerous grounds if they rush a legislation that lowers the age of criminal responsibility to nine, even to 12 years, from the original 15 years, although there are many nations with far lower age of criminal responsibility.

 It was argued that this move is being pushed because of police data that shows there are many minors involved in petty crimes who escape punishment because of their young age. This situation is being exploited by drug dealers and have began using  children as couriers for illegal drugs aware that the kids cannot be arrested and punished.

Some advocates argue that even at age 12, children are incapable of discernment, of knowing what is good or bad, and claimed the proposed legislation is discriminatory, being anti-poor, targeting children of poor families who have no means to defend themselves.

Understandably, some parents do not support the position that lowering the age of criminal responsibility will reduce crimes. They want the legislation to be shelved for further study and to undergo a nationwide consultation. No less than PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde, they said, believes the measure needs further study.   

It’s the senate’s turn to act on the bill.

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At the KBP Forum on January 24, there was a lively discourse on the issue about HIV/AIDS by Councilor Dennis Canto, City Health Officer Dr. Ophelia Rivera and Ms. Rachel Zarate of the Provincial Health Office of Pangasinan.

In that forum, I found Councilor Canto to be very knowledgeable about the subject from A to Z. There’s no doubt about it since he comes from a family of well-known medical practitioners. His father and mother, as well as his brother Alexis, are among the best doctors in the province.

Councilor Canto is seeking better HIV/AIDS awareness in schools and communities, particularly in red light districts. He even wants to propose an ordinance seeking to integrate HIV/AIDS awareness in the curriculum for high school students, public and private schools so they can better understand the gravity of the problem.

Moreover, he wants more funding to the City Health Office so that it can have more laboratory equipment to be used in HIV/AIDS testing as well as in drug testing.

Dennis definitely deserves another term in the Dagupan City council.

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In Pangasinan, a novel program called “Plastic for Goods”, was launched throughout the province on Saturday by Governor Amado Espino III.

The program is part of the Kalinisan Karavan of the provincial government in coordination with the Sangguniang Kabataan provincewide.

City Information Officer Butch Velasco told us that ledger cards will be issued to residents who turn over their plastic wastes. The value of their submitted plastic wastes will be recorded in the issued ledgers and they can claim their grocery items based on their stored values from the Kalinisan Karaban mobile stores.

This scheme was done in Dagupan some years back. Councilor Jeslito Seen offered rice for plastic wastes. The plastics were turned over to a shop in Manila, then returned to Dagupan in the form of school desks. The city should do it again.

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