The CALABARZON Regional Development Council (RDC) took its first step in establishing a Justice Zone in the Region last October 6. This was done with an orientation on the Justice Zone by Associate Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh, the chairperson of the Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC) TWG on Processes and Capacity Building.
A Justice Zone is as an area where the local justice agencies such as police, prosecutors, judges, public attorneys and managers of detention facilities work together to address cross cutting challenges on justice. The RDC Sectoral Committee of Macroecnomy and Development Administration (SCMDA) spearheaded the creation of the Justice Zone to promote effective and efficient coordination among justice sector agencies to improve judicial processes. Justice Singh expressed her appreciation to the CALABARZON RDC-SCMDA for taking the initiative for the creation of the Justice Zone, since there is no enabling law and budgetary assistance on its creation. Justice Singh shared that the Justice Zone will finally create a venue to effectively link all government agencies in the justice system to serve people better in CALABARZON. “We work together. We take steps in sync. If we do things together, we become more efficient, our processes become more effective, and then we achieve more” added by Justice Singh.
Affirming the message of Justice Singh, Atty. Laura C.H. del Rosario, Deputy Clerk of Court and Judicial Reform Program Administrator of the Supreme Court – Project Management Office commended the RDC-CALABARZON for being the second RDC, next to RDC Bicol, to ask for partnership with the Justice Sector Coordinating Council. She encouraged the RDC to promptly identify its pilot city where the Justice Zone will be established. She said that “we need a local chief executive who will believe in this project and allocate resources for it to succeed. If successful, CALABARZON will be the 7th City in the whole country with a Justice Zone.”
The DILG Region IV-A will lead the assessment of the possible pilot city of which the recommended city will be submitted by the NEDA Region IV-A to the Justice Sector Coordinating Council for consideration and approval. The assessment includes presence of alternative justice resolution, mechanisms to provide assistance to victims and conduct of lawful arrest, collaboration mechanisms between police investigators and prosecutors, and mechanism on information sharing from filing, trial, and post judgements including probation, parole, and pardon processing, appeals, and reintegration programs.
The SCMDA will discuss which among the justice sector agencies will champion the project during its Fourth Quarter Meeting on November 10, 2020 to ensure sustainability of the project.
Mary Deemple D. Ariate, NEDA Region IV-A | October 9, 2020