2017 Socioeconomic Report Chapter 6

Accomplishments

For 2017, the justice sector has made significant strides in achieving its targets. Most interventions focused on setting up mechanisms and information systems that are critical in laying down the foundation for integrated and harmonized efforts of justice sector agencies. Necessary issuances and measures were made to make it easier for people to avail of justice services and to expedite the disposition of cases.

  • On enhancing civil, criminal, commercial, and administrative justice systems. Information sharing systems and harmonized procedures are being set up for better coordination among agencies at various levels within the justice system such as the Single Carpeta System, the Philippine Crimes Index and the Uniform Manual on Time Allowances and Service of Sentence (issued by DILG and DOJ). Measures to improve the timeliness of justice delivery have been initiated through the DOJ National Prosecution Service’s launch of their Case Decongestion Project and the Judiciary’s deployment of Case Decongestion Officers.
  • On improving sector efficiency and accountability. RA 10951 was passed under this Administration, which imposes stiffer penalties for crimes in violation of the Revised Penal Code. To increase the people’s access to adequate legal aid, the Supreme Court issued the Community Legal Aid Service Rule. To strengthen programs on victim assistance, the DOJ Victims Compensation Program processed and approved additional 376 claim applications by heinous crime victims, exceeding their targets. To address the steadily rising number of new drugs cases, Regional Trial Courts are now allowed to hear, try, and decide cases filed under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. To improve corrections reform actions, jails manned by the BJMP were certified to be compliant with the Therapeutic Community and Modality Program. To enhance accountability through engaging the citizenry, the Enhanced Justice on Wheels continues to be a venue for disseminating and educating citizens on relevant laws and judicial reform projects, alongside hearing of cases. To facilitate assistance to nationals, Philippine embassies and consulates have been taking in or hearing witnesses’ depositions.

Moving Forward

The aforementioned initiatives need to be sustained and further enhanced. Reforms also need to be institutionalized in order for the system to be more resilient to political disruptions. Specifically, the following strategies should be implemented:

  • Improve inter-pillar coordination and cooperation.
  • Rationalize and streamline processes within the justice sector including processes on case management, case decongestion, and updating of the DOJ Bail Bond Guide.
  • Ensure speedy and timely appointment of prosecutors.
  • Create additional public attorney positions and new courts with judges and complete staff complement.
  • Ensure continuous conduct of decongestion programs and timely construction of jail and prison facilities.
  • Strengthen the implementation of offender rehabilitation programs in response to the War on Drugs campaign.
  • Engage the citizens.

Recommendations

The justice sector has enumerated a number of strategies requiring investments in the Public Investment Program 2017-2022. In addition, the following are recommended:

CHALLENGES RECOMMENDED STRATEGIES IMPLEMENTING AGENCIES
  • Heavy caseload and congestion in jails and prisons

 

 

 

  • Lack of local indicators that assess the performance of the justice sector and validate the results of global indicators which are solely based on perception surveys
  • Review and amend existing penal laws, its corresponding penalties and criminal procedures to rationalize penalties and expedite the disposition of cases.

 

  • Develop indicators that are reflective and relevant to the Philippine justice system to come up with an apt performance assessment on the country’s justice system.
SC, DOJ, DILG
  • Slow appointment of prosecutors causing the continued backlogs and delays in both the prosecution and the court
  • Strengthen and reorganize the National Prosecution Service to expedite the hiring process of prosecutorial positions.
DOJ
 

 

  • Fragmented institutional and legal framework of the justice system that hinders the effective coordination among justice sector institutions
  • Review and harmonize the institutional and legal framework on penology and corrections.
NEDA

 

See complete Socioeconomic Report here.