To discuss and present current approaches in the development of community-based treatment of offenders in the countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV), Administrator Manuel G. Co was invited as a visiting expert to the follow-up seminar conducted by the United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFEI) last July 25 -27, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan.

The follow-up seminar was part of the Third Country Training Programme (TCTP) intended for the CLMV countries who are currently developing their community-based treatment of offenders. The said seminar have engaged more in sharing and discussing of long-term challenges confronting the participating countries in their implementation of community-based programs.

In his presentation and lecture, Administrator Co focused on formulation of policies of the Parole and Probation Administration (PPA) using statistics. He emphasized the use of statistical data as a concrete basis in the formulation of policies with regards to the three main functions of the agency – investigation, supervision and rehabilitation. He specifically mentioned that the collected data is crucial for setting budget, performance target, monitoring and evaluating the success of community-based treatment interventions in the Philippines.

Administrator Co also expounded on the procedures wherein the statistical data gathered is analysed. These stages or procedures included the following: (Stage I) identifying and understanding the issue; (Stage 2) setting the agenda; (Stage 3) formulating policy and (Stage 4) monitoring and evaluating policy.

The follow-up seminar which was the second phase of the TCTP aims to review the first phase which was held last February 2017 in Thailand, by (1) confirming the outcomes, identifying what each country obtained from the first phase and progress of each country toward developing community-based treatment since the first phase; (2) sharing and discussing long-term challenges such as obtaining public understanding for offender rehabilitation, establishing cooperative relationships with other agencies and collecting statistical data on criminal offenses and offenders, and (3) strengthening the network of administrators and practitioners responsible for community-based treatment in the CLMV countries.

Aside from the lecture of Administrator Co, participating nations also made presentation regarding the progress of community-based treatment of offenders in their respective countries since the conduct of the first phase. Likewise, keynote speeches were also delivered by Professor Ota Tatsuya, Faculty of Law in Keio University and Mr. Imafuku Shoji, Director of the General Affairs Divisions, Rehabilitation Bureau, Ministry of Japan. Their lectures centered on “Presentation of re-offending and the importance of community-based treatment of offenders” and “Institutionalization and implementation of effective community-based treatment of offenders: strategies and measures.”

Administrator Co was accompanied by Assistant Regional Director and Special Assistant to the Administrator Janette S. Padua to the said seminar.