Second Quarter 2011
The second quarter is all about continuity as PHILJA delivered its programs during the months of April, May and June. For starters, several Convention and Seminars for the different associations of court employees were held. Among these were the Convention, Seminar and Election of Officers of the Sheriffs’ Confederation of the Philippines (SCOPHIL), the 8th National Convention and Election of Officers of the Process Servers Association of the Philippines (PROSAPHIL), the 6th National Convention and Seminar of the Court Stenographers Association of the Philippines (COSTRAPHIL) and the Convention and Seminar of the Court Librarians Association of the Philippines (CLAPHIL) with the theme “The Challenges and Information Service Delivery of Court Libraries in an Environment of Change and Reform.”
And there as well were the Special Focus Programs, which included the Seminar-Workshop on Dangerous Drugs Law for Judges, Prosecutors and Law Enforcers of Regions 9-12; the Seminar-Workshop on Land Valuation and Just Compensation for Special Agrarian Court Judges of the National Capital Judicial Region (NCJR), Regions 1-5, Regions 6-12 and Lawyers from the Land Bank of the Philippines; the Seminar-Workshop on the Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases for NCJR and Luzon; the Seminar-Workshop on CEDAW and Gender Sensitivity for Judges, Clerks of Court, Legal Researchers, and Interpreters from the City of Dumaguete, the Province of Palawan, and the NCJR; the 5th and 6th Multi-Sectoral Capacity Building on Environmental Laws and the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases for CALABARZON and Region 3; the Seminar on Speedy Trial and Disposition of Cases and a Roundtable Discussion on “Constitution and Peace: Lessons from Peace Agreements.”
Aside from our regular and special focus programs, PHILJA also continued to join the other court officials in various parts of the country as a partner in charge of mediation and information dissemination in the Enhanced Justice on Wheels (E-JOW) Program. We were with Chief Justice Renato C. Corona and other court officials during the re-launching of the E-JOW in the City of Antipolo as part of the celebration of the Court’s 110th Anniversary in June.
During that anniversary, too, PHILJA launched the Sourcebook on Environmental Rights and Legal Remedies, and the Helpbook on Human Rights Issues: Extralegal Killings and Enforced Disappearances, in cooperation with the Office of the Chief Justice and the Program Management Office and with the assistance of our development partners, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid), the Asia Foundation, and the American Bar Association, Rule of Law Initiative (ABA-ROLI), among other institutions.
On Mediation, we held an Orientation Conference with Stakeholders on Court-Annexed Mediation (Isabela Mediation Program), a Judicial Settlement Conference for Judges on Judicial Dispute Resolution (Skills-Based Course), and an Orientation of Clerks of Court, Public Prosecutors, Public Attorneys and Law Practitioners of Davao on Judicial Dispute Resolution.
Furthermore, PHILJA welcomed two international delegations when they visited the country to observe and participate in knowledge-sharing activities. In May, several members and officials from the Supreme Court of Nepal visited the Philippine Mediation Center Office for a two-day study tour of our mediation units in Pasay and Makati where they observed Case Flow Management, e-filing and e-payment systems and a JDR session. The delegates also observed an Appellate Court Mediation session in the Court of Appeals.
In June, a 16-member delegation from the Judiciary of Bangladesh paid us a visit in the PHILJA Training Center in Tagaytay where they had a guided tour of our new premises. After a splendid lunch at the nearby Taal Vista Hotel, the delegates went back to our Training Center for the knowledge-sharing activity and a briefing on the Philippine Judicial Academy.
And I am happy to announce that as of June 30 this year, the PHILJA Annex Training Facility (ATF) in Tagaytay was fully completed on schedule. Congratulations to all of us.
Finally, as we go to press, the US State Department stated in its Annual Trafficking in Persons Report that the Philippines has been removed from the watchlist and is now in Tier 2 which means that although we are yet to fully meet the more stringent standards on human trafficking under their law, we are, nonetheless, making an effort to do so. This quarter alone, PHILJA held three consecutive separate seminars addressing this issue, namely; two Seminar-Workshops on Combating Human Trafficking in the Philippines through the help of USAID and ABA-ROLI and participated in by Family Court Judges in Regions 6 and 7 and Regions 9 to 12, and; an ASEAN Awareness Course on Trafficking in Persons (Batch 3) for selected Single Sala Court Judges from Regions 9-12 through the assistance of AusAid in cooperation with the Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons Project (ARTIP).
This issue also features the new Rulings of the Supreme Court and Doctrinal Reminders as well as Supreme Court Resolutions, Circulars and Orders, and OCA Circulars on various subjects.
As I embark on a new two-year term as Chancellor, I thank the Chief Justice and the Supreme Court for their confidence and steadfast support even as I count on you as we continue to serve our people by ensuring that PHILJA remains a first-rate judicial academy.All the best.
(Sgd.) ADOLFO S. AZCUNA