Senator Dick Gordon hailed the signing into law of Republic Act 11362 or the Community Service Act, saying that with the Philippines having the most overcrowded jails in the world, the law will help address the problem of the country’s congested jails.

“I thank President (Rodrigo) Duterte for enacting this law, which will be a game changer. 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. This way they can do penance for the offenses they committed without worsening the congestion of our jails across the country,” Gordon, principal author and sponsor of the law, said.

“They can do penance for the offenses committed without worsening the congestion of our jails across the country.”

The Community Service Act, which was signed into law by the President last August 8, allows courts to mete out community service as punishment instead of jail time from 1 to 30 days to offenders who committed minor offenses.

Community service will be done in places where the crimes were committed. The court will determine how long it would be, depending on the gravity of the crime.

Offenders will also have to undergo rehabilitative counselling led by a social welfare and development officer. Courts should also consider if the offender in question would repeat his or her offenses again. If the offender violates his or her terms regarding community service, the court may again order arrest.

“The law aims to inculcate civic consciousness.”

“Aside from preventing the further congestion of our jails, this law aims to inculcate civic consciousness, and is intended towards the improvement of a public work or promotion of a public service,” the veteran legislator said.


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