Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin (3rd from left) leads the launching of the Naga City Justice Zone at the People’s Hall, Naga City Hall Compound, on September 30, 2019 at 10AM.
It is the sixth Justice Zone to be launched after Quezon City, Cebu City, Davao City, Angeles City, and Bacolod City. Also, it is the fourth and last to be unveiled during the term of Chief Justice Bersamin.
Joining him are (from left) Chargé d’affaires of the European Union to the Philippines Mr. Thomas Wiersing, Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año, Undersecretary Markk L. Perete of the Department of Justice, Naga City Mayor Nelson S. Legacion, and Naga City Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Erwin Virgilio P. Ferrer.
The Chief Justice said: “I am quite proud of this milestone reached during my 11-month tenure as the leader of the Judiciary. God-willing, my fellow principals would still be around after I leave office due to retirement to see to the continuity at the policy level. xxx Even in retirement I will look forward to monitoring your future undertakings for the Justice Zones and may even be joining you in at least one more launch event.”
Chief Justice Bersamin also shared that the Judiciary, Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), have already submitted a “convergence budget” to the Department of Budget and Management and Congress. “It lays down the budgetary requirements for our Convergence Program – which is a set of projects towards improving the capacity, operations, and effectivity of the justice sector.”
First launched in November 2014, the Justice Zone is a flagship project of the Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC). It is an area or locality where a minimum number of inter-agency coordinative reforms are present, in order to address delay and inefficiencies through sector-wide coordinative efforts, while respecting the independence of all institutions concerned. The JSCC is a joint initiative among justice sector institutions specifically the Supreme Court, the DOJ, and DILG. The justice sector has committed in the Philippine Development Plan of 2017-2022 to the launching of a total of 14 Justice Zones throughout the country.
It was also revealed that it was the first time in the past 20 years or so that an incumbent Chief Justice visited Naga City. The launch was immediately followed by a surprise testimonial for Chief Justice Bersamin who is set to compulsorily retire on October 18, 2019. (Photo and caption courtesy of the SC Public Information Office)