Duterte signs Community Service Act

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President Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed a law authorizing the court, in its discretion, to require community service for minor offenses.

Duterte signed the Community Service Act (Republic Act No. 11362), recognizing the policy of the State to promote restorative justice and decongest jails.

Under the law, the court may require community service instead of imprisonment for arresto menor (one day to 30 days imprisonment) and arresto mayor (one month and one day to six months).

The law defines community service as “any actual physical activity which inculcates civic consciousness, and is intended towards the improvement of a public work or promotion of a public service.”

“If the defendant violates the terms of the community service, the court shall order his or her rearrest and the defendant shall serve the full term of the penalty, as the case may be, in jail, or in the house of the defendant,” the law read.

“However, if the defendant has fully complied with the terms of the community service, the court shall order the release of the defendant unless detained for some other offense,” it added.

The Department of Justice and the Department of Social Welfare and Development shall issue the rules and regulations to implement the provisions of the Act within 90 days from its effectivity. (PNA)

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