SC APPROVES GUIDELINES ON COMMUNITY SERVICE PENALTY FOR MINOR OFFENSES
The Supreme Court (SC) has approved the guidelines on the imposition of community service as a penalty for people convicted of minor offenses.
The court approved the guidelines on October 6, more than a year after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Community Service Act into law. The guidelines will take effect on November 2.
Meant to promote restorative justice and jail decongestion, the law gives courts the discretion to impose community service instead of a jail term for offenses that are punishable by arresto menor (one day to 30 days) and arresto mayor (one month and one day to six months).
Under the SC guidelines, judges who sentence a person to suffer the penalty of arresto menor or arresto mayor are required to inform the convict in open court that they have an option to render community service in the place where the crime was committed.
Judges should also explain, however, that the convict cannot apply for community service or probation if they choose to appeal the conviction.