PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 968
ESTABLISHING A PROBATION SYSTEM,
FUNDS THEREFORE AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
one of the major goals of the government is to establish a more enlightened and humane correctional system that will
promote the reformation of offenders and thereby reduce the incidence of recidivism;
WHEREAS, the confinement of all offenders in
prisons and other institutions with rehabilitation programs constitutes a onerous drain on the financial resources of the
WHEREAS, there is a need to provide a less costly
alternative to the imprisonment of offenders who are likely to respond to individualized, community-based treatment programs;
NOW, THEREFORE, I FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President
of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby
order and decree the following:
SEC. 1. Title and Scope of the Decree. - This Decree
shall be known as the Probation Law of 1976. It shall apply to all offenders except those entitled to the benefits under the
provisions of Presidential Decree numbered Six Hundred and Three and similar laws.
SEC. 2. - Purpose. - This Decree shall be interpreted
so as to:
promote the correction and rehabilitation of an offender by providing him with individualized treatment;
(b) provide an opportunity for the reformation
of a penitent offender which might be less probable if he were to serve a prison sentence; and
(c) prevent the commission of offenses.
SEC. 3. Meaning of Terms. - As used in this Decree,
the following shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed thus:
(a) “Probation” is a disposition
under which a defendant, after conviction and sentence, is released subject to conditions imposed by the supervision of probation
(b) “Probationer” means a person
placed on a probation.
(c) “Probation Officer” means one
who investigates for the court a referral for probation or supervises a probationer or both.
As amended by Presidential Decree No. 1257, Batas Pambansa
Blg. 76, and further amended by PD 1990
SEC. 4. Grant of Probation. - Subject to the
provisions of this Decree, the trial court may, after it shall have convicted and sentenced a defendant, and upon application
by said defendant within the period for perfecting an appeal, suspend the execution of the sentence and place the defendant
on probation for such period and upon such terms and conditions as it may deem best; Provided, That, no application for probation
shall be entertained or granted if the defendant has perfected an appeal from the judgment of conviction.
Probation may be granted whether the sentence
imposes a term of imprisonment or a fine only. An application for probation shall be deemed a waiver of the right to appeal.
An order granting or denying probation shall
not be appealable.
SEC. 5. Post-Sentence Investigation. - No person
shall be placed on probation except upon prior investigation by the probation officer and a determination by the court that
the ends of justice and the best interest of the public as well as that of the defendant will be served thereby.
Form of Investigation Report. - The investigation report to be submitted by the probation officer under Section 5 hereof
shall be in the form prescribed by the Probation Administrator and approved by the Secretary of Justice.
Period for Submission of Investigation Report. - The probation officer shall submit to the court the investigation
report on a defendant not later than sixty days from receipt of the order of said court to conduct the investigation. The court shall resolve the application for probation
not later than fifteen
days after receipt of said report.
Pending submission of the investigation report
and the resolution of the petition, the defendant may be allowed on temporary liberty under his bail filed in the criminal
case; Provided, That, in case where no bail was filed or that the defendant is incapable of filing one, the court may allow
the release of the defendant on recognizance to the custody of a responsible member of the community who shall guarantee his
appearance whenever required by the court.
SEC. 8. Criteria for Placing an Offender on Probation.
- In determining whether an offender may be placed on probation, the court shall consider all information relative to the
character, antecedents, environment, mental and physical condition of the offender, and available institutional and community
resource. Probation shall be denied if the court finds that:
As amended by Sec. 1, PD 1257 and Sec. 1, PD 1990
As amended by Sec. 2, PD 1257
offender is in need of correctional treatment that can be provided most effectively by his commitment to an institution;
is an undue risk that during the period of probation, the offender will commit another crime; or
will depreciate the seriousness of the offense committed.
SEC. 9. Disqualified Offenders. - The benefits
of this Decree shall not be extended to those:
to serve a maximum term of imprisonment of more than six years;
of subversion or any crime against the national security or the public order;
have previously been convicted by final judgment of an offense punished by imprisonment of not less than one month and one
day and/or a fine of not less than Two Hundred Pesos;
have been once on probation under the provisions of this Decree; and
(e) who are already serving sentence
at the time the substantive
provisions of this Decree
became applicable pursuant to Section 33 hereof.
SEC. 10. Conditions of Probation. - Every probation
order issued by the court shall contain conditions requiring that the probationer shall;
himself to the probation officer designated to undertake his supervision at such place as may be specified in the order within
seventy-two hours from receipt of said order;
to the probation officer at least once a month at such time and place as specified by said officer.
The court may also require the probationer to:
with a program of supervision;
his family responsibilities;
(c) devote himself to specific employment and
not to change said employment without the prior written approval of the probation officer;
medical, psychological, or psychiatric examination and treatment and enter and remain in a specified institution, when required
for that purpose;
(e) pursue a prescribed secular study
or vocational training;
As amended by Sec. 1, BP Blg. 76 and
Sec. 2, PD 1990
or reside in a facility established for instruction, recreation or residence of persons on probation;
from visiting houses of ill-repute;
from drinking intoxicating beverages to excess;
the probation officer or an authorized social worker to visit his home and place of work;
at premises approved by it and not to change his residence without its prior written approval; or
any other condition related to the rehabilitation of the defendant and not unduly restrictive of his liberty or incompatible
with his freedom of conscience.
SEC. 11. Effectivity of Probation Order. - A
probation order shall take effect upon its issuance, at which time the court shall inform the offender of the consequence
thereof and explain that upon his failure to comply with any of the conditions prescribed in the said order or his commission
of another offense, he shall serve the penalty imposed for the offense under which he was placed on probation.
SEC. 12. Modification of conditions of Probation.
- During the period of probation, the court may, upon application of either the probationer or the probation officer, revise
or modify the conditions or period of probation. The court shall notify either the probationer or the probation officer of
the filing of such an application so as to give both parties an opportunity to be heard thereon.
The court shall inform in writing the probation
officer and the probationer of any change in the period or conditions of probation.
Sec. 13. Control and Supervision of Probationer.
- The probationer and his probation program shall be under the control of the court who placed him on probation subject to
actual supervision and visitation by a probation officer.
Whenever a probationer is permitted to reside
in a place under the jurisdiction of another court, control over him shall be transferred to the Executive Judge of the Court
of First Instance of that place, in such a case, a copy of the probation order, the investigation report and other pertinent
records shall be furnished said Executive Judge. Thereafter, The Executive Judge to whom jurisdiction over the probationer
is transferred shall have the power with respect to him that was previously possessed by the court which granted the probation.
SEC. 14. Period of Probation. -
(a) the period of probation of a defendant sentenced to
a term of imprisonment of not more than one year shall not exceed two years, and in all other cases, said period shall not
exceed six years.
(b) When the sentence imposes a fine only and
the offender is made to serve subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, the period of probation shall not be less than
nor be more than twice the total number of days of subsidiary imprisonment as computed at the rate established in Article
thirty-nine of the Revised Penal Code, as amended.
SEC. 15. Arrest of Probationers: Subsequent Disposition.
- At any time during probation, the court may issue a warrant for the arrest of a probationer for any serious violation of
the conditions of probation. The probationer, once arrested and detained, shall immediately be brought before the court for
a hearing of the violation charged. The defendant may be admitted to bail pending such hearing. In such case, the provisions
regarding release on bail of persons charged with a crime
shall be applicable to
probationers arrested under
In the hearing, which shall be summary in nature,
the probationer shall have the right to be informed of the violation charged and to adduce evidence in his favor. The court
shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence but may inform itself of all the facts which are material and relevant to
ascertain the veracity of the charge. The State shall be represented by a prosecuting officer in any contested hearing. If
the violation is established, the court may revoke or continue his probation and modify the conditions thereof. If revoked,
the court shall order the probationer to serve the sentence originally imposed. An order revoking the grant of probation or
modifying the terms and conditions
thereof shall not be appealable.
SEC. 16. Termination of Probation. - After the
period of probation and upon consideration of the report and recommendation of the probation officer, the court may order the final discharge of the probationer upon finding that he has fulfilled the terms
and conditions of his probation and thereupon the case is deemed terminated.
The final discharge of the probationer shall
operate to restore to him all civil rights lost or suspended as a result of his conviction and to fully discharge his liability
for any fine imposed as to the offense for which probation was granted.
The probationer and the probation officer shall
each be furnished with a copy of such order.
SEC. 17. Confidentiality of Records. - the investigation
report and the supervision history of a probationer obtained under this Decree shall be
As amended by Sec. 3, PD 1257
privileged and shall not
be disclosed directly or indirectly to anyone other than the Probation Administration or the court concerned, except that
the court, in its discretion, may permit the probationer or his attorney to inspect the aforementioned documents or parts
thereof whenever the best interest of the probationer makes such disclosure desirable or helpful; Provided, Further,
That, any government office or agency engaged in the correction or rehabilitation of offenders may, if necessary, obtain copies
of said documents for its official use from the proper court or the Administration.
SEC. 18. The Probation Administration. - There
is hereby created under the Department of Justice an agency to be known as the Probation Administration herein referred to
as the Administration, which shall exercise general supervision over all probationers.
The Administration shall have such staff, operating
units and personnel as may be necessary for the proper execution of its functions.
SEC. 19. Probation Administrator. - The Administration
shall be headed by the Probation Administrator, hereinafter referred to as the Administrator, who shall be appointed by the
President of the Philippines. He shall
hold office during good behavior and shall not be removed except for cause.
The Administrator shall receive an annual salary
of at least forty thousand pesos. His powers and duties shall be to:
(a) act as the executive officer of the Administration;
(b) exercise supervision and control over all
(c) make annual reports to the Secretary of Justice,
in such form as the latter may prescribe, concerning the operation, administration and improvement of the probation system;
(d) promulgate, subject to the approval of the
Secretary of Justice, the necessary rules relative to the methods and procedures of the probation process;
(e) recommend to the Secretary of Justice the
appointment of the subordinate personnel of his Administration and other offices established in this Decree; and
(f) generally, perform such duties and exercise
such power as may be necessary or incidental to achieve the objectives of this Decree.
20. Assistant Probation Administrator. - There shall be an Assistant Probation Administrator who shall assist the Administrator
and perform such duties as may be assigned to him by the latter and as maybe provided by law. In the absence of the Administrator,
he shall act as head of the Administration.
He shall be appointed by the President of the
Philippines and shall receive an annual
salary of at least thirty-six thousand pesos.
SEC. 21. Qualifications of the Administrator
and Assistant Probation Administrator. - To be eligible for appointment as Administrator, a person must be at least thirty-five
years of age, holder of a master’s degree or its equivalent in either criminology, social work, corrections penology,
psychology, sociology, public administration, law, police science, police administration, or related fields, and should have
at least five years of supervisory experience, or be a member of the Philippine Bar with at least seven years of supervisory
SEC. 22. Regional Office; Regional Probation
Officer. - The administration shall have regional offices organized in accordance with the field service area pattern established
under the Integrated Reorganization Plan.
Such regional offices shall be headed by a Regional Probation Officer who shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines in accordance with the Integrated Reorganization Plan and upon the
recommendation of the Secretary of Justice.
The Regional Probation Officer shall exercise
supervision and control over all probation officers within his jurisdiction and such duties as may be assigned to him by the
Administrator. He shall have an annual salary of at least twenty-four thousand pesos.
He shall, whenever necessary, be assisted by
an assistant Regional Probation Officer who shall also be appointed by the President of the Philippines, upon recommendation of the Secretary of Justice, with an estimated
annual salary of at least twenty thousand pesos.
SEC. 23. Provincial and City Probation Officers.
- There shall be at least one probation officer in each province and city who shall be appointed by the Secretary of Justice
upon recommendation of the Administrator and in accordance with civil service law and rules.
The Provincial or City Probation Officer shall
receive an annual salary of at least eighteen thousand four hundred pesos.
His duties shall be to;
(a) investigate all persons referred to him for
investigation by the proper court or the Administration;
(b) instruct all probationers under his supervision
or that of the probation aide on the terms and conditions of their probation;
(c) keep himself informed of the conduct and
condition of probationers under his charge and use all suitable methods to bring about an improvement in their conduct and
(d) maintain a detailed report of his work, and
submit such written reports as may be required by the Administration or the court having jurisdiction over the probationer
under his supervision;
(e) prepare a list of qualified residents of
the province or city where he is assigned who are willing to act as probation aides;
(f) supervise the training of probation aides
and oversee the latter’s supervision of probationers;
(g) exercise supervision and control over all
field assistants, probation aides and other personnel; and
(h) perform such duties as may be assigned by
the court or the Administration.
SEC. 24. Miscellaneous Powers of provincial and
City Probation Officers. - Provincial or City Probation Officers shall have the authority within their territorial jurisdiction
to administer oaths and acknowledgments and to take depositions in connection with their duties and functions under this Decree.
They shall also have, with respect to probationers under their care, the powers of a police officer.
SEC. 25. Qualifications of Regional, Assistant
Regional, Provincial and City Probation Officers. - No person shall be appointed Regional or Assistant Regional or Provincial
or City Probation Officer unless he possesses at least a bachelor’s degree with a major in social work, sociology, psychology,
criminology, penology, corrections, police science, police administration, or related fields and has at least three years
of experience in work requiring any of the above-mentioned disciplines, or is a member of the Philippine Bar with at least
three years of supervisory experience.
Whenever practicable, the Provincial or City
Probation Officer shall be appointed from among qualified residents of the province or city where he will be assigned to work.
SEC. 26. Organization. - Within twelve months
from the approval of this Decree, the Secretary of Justice shall organize the administrative structure of the Administration
and the other offices created herein. During said period, he shall also determine the staffing patterns of the regional, provincial
and city probation offices with the end in view of achieving maximum efficiency and economy in the operations of the probation
SEC. 27. Field Assistants, Subordinate Personnel.
- Provincial or City Probation Officers shall be assisted by such field assistants and subordinate personnel as may be necessary
to enable them to carry out their duties effectively.
SEC. 28. Probation Aides. - To assist the Provincial
or City Probation Officers in the supervision of probationers the Probation Administrator may appoint citizens of good repute
and probity to act as probation aides.
Probation Aides shall not receive any regular
compensation for services except for reasonable travel allowance. They shall hold office for such period as may be determined
by the Probation Administrator. Their qualifications and maximum case loads shall be provided in the rules promulgated pursuant
to this Decree.
SEC. 29. Violation of Confidential Nature of
Probation Records. - The penalty of imprisonment ranging from six months and one day to six years and a fine ranging from
six hundred to six thousand pesos shall be imposed upon any person who violates Section 17 hereof.
SEC. 30. Appropriations. - There is hereby authorized
the appropriation of the sum of Six Million Five Hundred Thousand Pesos or so much as may be necessary, out of any funds in
the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to carry out the purposes of this Decree. Thereafter, the amount of at least
Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand Pesos or so much as may be necessary shall be included in the annual appropriations of the
SEC. 31. Repealing Clause. - All provisions of
existing laws, orders and regulations contrary to or inconsistent with this Decree are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
SEC. 32. Separability of Provisions. - If any
part, section or provision of this Decree shall be held invalid or unconstitutional, no other parts, section or provisions
hereof shall be affected thereby.
SEC. 33. Effectivity. - This Decree shall take
effect upon its approval; Provided, However, That the application of its substantive provisions
concerning the grant of
probation shall only take effect on January 3, 1978.
in the City of Manila this 24th day of July in the year of
nineteen hundred and seventy-six.
FERDINAND E. MARCOS
As amended by Sec. 4, PD 1257
PD 1257 took effect upon its issuance by the President on December 1, 1977; BP Blg. 76, passed by the Batasang Pambansa
on June 9, 1980, took effect upon its approval by the President on June 13, 1980, PD 1990, took effect on 15 July 1986, fifteen
(15) days after release of the 30 December 1985 issue of the Official Gazette publishing said Decree.
By the President:
(Sgd.) J. C. TUVERA
(in PD 968)
(Sgd.) JACOBO C. CLAVE
Presidential Executive Assistant
(in PD 1257)
(Sgd.) JUAN C. TUVERA
Presidential Executive Assistant
(in PD 1990)