Administrator Manuel G. Co of the Parole and Probation Administration (PPA) was invited by the United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offender (UNAFEI) as visiting expert and lecturer for the Preparatory Meeting for Third Community Training Program (TCTP) of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) last September 26-30, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan.
Attended by participants from Cambodia, Lao P.D.R., Myanmar, Vietnam or CLMV and also one lecturer from Thailand, Administrator Co lectured on the community-based corrections in the Philippines. His topic and discussion served as a vital input to the development of community-based treatment of offenders in the countries of CLMV. In his lecture, he presented and explained the Philippine Criminal Justice System with the emphasis on the Corrections Pillar wherein the PPA he is heading is included. He also highlighted the programs adopted by the Agency in the rehabilitation aspect of its function such as the Therapeutic Community (TC) Modality, Restorative Justice (RJ) and the Volunteer Probation Assistants (VPA) program.
According to Administrator Co, the meeting in Japan was in preparation for the TCTP, which will start on February 2017 in Thailand. The purpose of the Japan meeting was to identify issues related to the introduction of community-based treatment systems in the CLMV countries for effective implementation of TCTP; share issues and necessary information related to the treatment of offenders and related legislation particularly concepts of punishment and treatment of offenders in the penal codes of CLMV countries; understanding each country’s needs and interest in developing their respective systems of probation and parole and building relationships and enhancing motivation among the participants of TCTP.
Meanwhile, prior to the meeting in Japan, Administrator Co was also invited as guest resource speaker in the Training Course on Integrated Offender Management in ASEAN last August 15-19, 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand. His topic was the “Probation System and Offenders Rehabilitation in the Philippines”, which gave the participants a full view of the country’s current community-based corrections implementation. The said training course was attended by corrections practitioners from Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Thailand. A study visit to Thailand Immigration Detention Center also highlighted the five-day training course.
“Attendance to both meetings was part of the PPA’s regional commitment to help other countries in the ASEAN region through knowledge sharing, capacity building and developing international cooperation on treatment of offenders. This is in line with the ASEAN Plus Three Probation and Non-Custodial Measures Cooperation”, Administrator Co emphasized.