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Children and the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility (MACR): Why the MACR Should Not Be Lowered

The Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility (MACR) is the lowest age at which children in a given country can be prosecuted in court. In the Philippines, under the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 (JJWA) or Republic Act 9344 as amended by Republic Act 10630, the MACR is set at 15 years old. This means that “a child fifteen (15) years of age or under at the time of the commission of the offense shall be exempt from criminal liability. However, the child shall be subjected to an intervention program.”

As of September 2016, several bills have been filed in the 17th Congress to lower the MACR from 15 years to 9 years old.

In this issue of Intersect Quick Facts, we provide information on the profile and common misconceptions on children in conflict with the law (CICL), present arguments on why the MACR should not be lowered, and cite some good practices in implementing the JJWA. Click the images below to download.

English Filipino