In her most recent meeting with the provincial government unit of Basilan last February 22, the Bangsamoro Parliament’s Minority Floor Leader, Atty. Laisa Masuhud Alamia, emphasized the importance of a child-friendly rehabilitation facility in addressing “one of the biggest bottlenecks in fully implementing our laws on juvenile delinquency.”

MP Alamia, with the support of Basilan Governor Jim Hataman-Salliman, hopes to address the challenges that come with the absence of adequate and quality facilities to provide care to children in conflict with the law. As the regional government works to sustain just and lasting peace in the region, MP Alamia has chosen to highlight the rights and welfare of marginalized sectors, including women and children who have been disproportionately affected by the history of conflict in the region.

Gov. Hataman-Salliman recognized the importance of the project and while focusing on the feasibility and complexity of building an institution from the ground up, along with the capacity of the local government unit to effectively sustain the proposal. He also sought a “comprehensive governance scheme” as both the regional and provincial government commit to a “shared responsibility” to the project.

MP Alamia submitted the proposal to build the first Bahay Pag-asa in the region in August 2020, which was immediately approved by the Ministry of Finance, and Budget and Management (MFBM). The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) has been identified as the lead implementer of the project that will be funded through the Transitional Development Impact Fund. 

Set to break ground in Basilan in February 2021, it will mark the beginning of a multi-phase project that will lead to the construction and establishment of a “24-hour child-caring institution established, funded and managed by local government units and licensed and/or accredited non-government organizations providing short-term residential care for children in conflict with the law,” and is a key element in Republic Act 10630, an act that strengthens the Philippine juvenile justice system. 

Representatives from the Provincial Social Welfare Office, Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission, Ministry of Public Works and Juvenile Justice Welfare Council were also present.