(Eagle News)–President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure that will impose community service as punishment for those who commit only minor offenses, instead of jail time.
A statement from the office of Senator Richard Gordon, principal author of the Community Service Act in the Senate, said the President signed the measure on August 8.
Under the measure, once convicted by the court, the offender may engage in community service in the place where the crime was committed, instead of face jail time for 1 to 30 days.
The court will also determine the length of community service, which will depend on the gravity of the crime.
If the offender violates his or her terms in community service, the court may again order his or her arrest under the law.
Offenders will also have to undergo rehabilitative counselling led by a social welfare and development officer.
“I thank President Duterte for enacting this law, which will be a game changer..This way they can do penance for the offenses they committed without worsening the congestion of our jails across the country,” Gordon said.
He added the law also “aims to inculcate civic consciousness, and is intended towards the improvement of a public work or promotion of a public service.”
“Instead of serving time in jail, offenders who committed minor offenses will pay their debt to society by doing community service which will be beneficial to the whole community,” he said.