Dispute Resolution, Litigation, Arbitration

Community Service Act

Republic Act 11362 or the Community Service Act (CSA) allows courts, in the exercise of their discretion, to require community service and rehabilitative counselling in lieu of jail time were the penalties imposed are arresto mayor (imprisonment from one (1) month and one (1) day to six (6) months) and arresto menor (imprisonment from one (1) to thirty (30) days).

Community service is "any actual physical activity which inculcates civic consciousness and is intended towards the improvement of a public work or promotion of a public service." This privilege may be availed of only once.

The Community Service must observe the following guidelines:

  1. It must be served in the place where the crime was committed;
  2. The number of hours ordered by the courts must be completed within the period likewise prescribed by the courts;
  3. The person sentenced must undergo rehabilitative counselling under the Social Welfare and Development Officer of the city or municipality where the crime was committed; and
  4. The person rendering community service must be under the supervision of a probation officer.

The courts must consider the following in the discretionary exercise of imposing Community Service:

  1. The terms must be commensurate to the gravity of the offense and the circumstances of the case;
  2. The welfare that the service will bring to society; and
  3. The reasonable probability that the person sentenced shall not violate the law while rendering the service.

If the convict violates the terms of the community service, he shall serve the full term of his penalty in jail, or be placed on house arrest if the penalty is arresto menor. Conversely, if he completes the terms of the community service, the court shall order his release, unless detained for another offense.

Click here to read the entire text of R.A. No. 11362.

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