MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has approved a law allowing courts to penalize those who committed minor offenses with community service instead of sentencing them to a jail term.
Republic Act 11362 promotes restorative justice and decongest jails by allowing courts to impose community service instead of jail term for minor offenses which are punishable by arresto menor (one day to 30 days) and arresto mayor (one month and one day to six months).
Sen. Richard Gordon has authored and sponsored the measure, which was signed into law by President Duterte on Aug. 8
The community service to be rendered by the convicts will be any actual physical activity which inculcates civic consciousness and is intended towards the improvement of a public work or promotion of a public service.
The community service privilege, however, can only be used once and if the defendant violates the terms of the community service, the court will order his re-arrest and the defendant will serve the full term of the penalty.
If the defendant has fully complied with the terms of the community service, the court will order the release of the defendant unless detained for some other offense./PN