The Cebu City Justice Zone celebrates its first anniversary: what has been achieved so far?
- Launched on 4 October 2018, the Cebu City Justice Zone marks first year
- Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and University of San Carlos addresses jail congestion in Cebu City jails
- The European Union supports justice sector reform initiatives of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior and Local Government through the Governance in Justice (GOJUST) Programme. The support to the creation of justice zones is one of the activities of the GOJUST programme.
GOJUST hails the Cebu City Justice Zone as they mark their first year with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and the University of San Carlos (USC) to address the issue of heavily congested jails in Cebu City.
Cebu City Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Macaundas M. Hadjirasul, convenor of the Cebu City Justice Zone, led the Cebu City Justice Zone first anniversary ceremony at the BJMP women’s dorm in Kalunasan, Cebu City. Established in 4 October 2018, the Cebu City Justice Zone reported increased cooperation and collaboration among the justice sector stakeholders. The Cebu City JZ has facilitated talks between the BJMP and the Metro Cebu Water District resulting in a weekly delivery of 30,000 tons of water to the jail to address health and sanitation needs. With the help of the Supreme Court Office of the Court Administrator, a uniform court action on hospitalization and medical examination for persons deprived of liberty was established. A facility providing a conducive interview area at the BJMP Male dormitory was also turned over to the BJMP by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Cebu City Chapter, facilitated by the justice zone.
GOJUST remains to be a staunch supporter of the Cebu City Justice Zone and their activities and projects. With funds from the European Union, GOJUST has supported the training of personnel from the BJMP, Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, and Parole and Probation Administration, on the ASSIST BI (Alcohol Substance Smoke Involvement Screening Test Brief Intervention) Tool to address the processing of plea-bargaining in response to the Supreme Court Guidelines on Plea-bargaining for drugs cases. GOJUST will likewise support the installation of a visitor management and e-dalaw system at the BJMP male dormitory.
“We commend the Cebu City Justice Zone, led by Executive Judge Macaundas Hadjirasul. On your first year, your gains clearly demonstrate that coordination and cooperation at the local level makes justice delivery swifter and more efficient, said Christian Eldon, GOJUST Team Leader.
With support from the European Union, the Justice Sector Reform Programme: Governance in Justice (GOJUST) supports the development and early implementation of a credible sector-wide long-term reform strategy through the provision of technical and financial assistance.
The Programme focuses on three inter-related components aimed respectively at laying the ground for reforms through i.) strengthening sector coordination and policy-making; ii) creating space for reform implementation through decongestion and automation; and iii) generating resources for reform through the improvement of administrative and financial management.
The programme will be implemented from April 2016 to June 2020.
About Justice Zones
Justice Zones are areas where local justice sector agencies such as the police, prosecutors, judges, public attorneys, and managers of detentions facilities showed outstanding coordination in identifying and addressing common challenges. Through an agreed structure and a two-way communication with the JSCC, piloting of new activities can take place within the Justice Zone.