The Philippine Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics joins and supports the Philippine Pediatric Society on its position on House Bill No. 002. A nine-year old does not have the capacity to fully discern what is morally right and what isn’t, enough to subject them to the criminal justice system. If a child becomes capable of performing such acts, there is definitely an underlying aversive experience outside of their supposed innocence that has influenced them to become that way. We understand concerns on juvenile criminality though. But right family values, proper parenting and efficient social services may deter rise in abandoned and neglected children that are endangered and prone to criminality. Lowering the age of criminality to nine is no panacea.
Therefore, efforts of government and the justice system should focus on the responsibility or role of parents, school and the society in the prevention of juvenile delinquency.