Retiring SC chief cites ‘ten-point’ gains

Retiring SC chief cites ‘ten-point’ gains

MANILA – Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta on Monday cited the gains made by the judiciary during his watch at the last flag-raising ceremony he attended at the Supreme Court (SC).

SC chose to forgo the usual honor guards and other events when the highest court official retires in light of ongoing health precautions against the coronavirus pandemic.

Peralta’s optional retirement will take effect on March 27, a year ahead of his mandatory retirement.

He cited the achievement of his Ten Point-Program, which focuses on four core areas: efficiency, integrity, security and service.

“Under my helm, the Supreme Court has formulated and approved 18 procedural rules and guidelines meant to improve the administration of justice and address the problem of clogged court dockets. We have restructured and streamlined the plantilla of various offices, divisions, and services of the Court so as to guarantee security of tenure for the employees and to improve our processes,” he said in his speech.

Peralta also cited the establishment of the Judiciary Public Assistance Section to promptly receive and act on concerns, issues, suggestions, and other relevant matters, including complaints against erring court officials and employees.

“We have also formally organized the Judicial Integrity Board to further prevent and curb corruption in the Judiciary,” he added.

In addition to the procedural and institutional reforms, the past year saw the SC address “the various concerns and issues related with the task of judicial administration that were necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

SC issued Administrative Circulars adopting measures to protect the safety and health of the court employees and court users, such as the daily court operations with skeleton staffing; restricting entry into Halls of Justices to only those with official business; reinforcing physical distancing within court premises; the constant sanitation of court premises and monitoring of the health of court personnel; the restructuring of various face-to-face training programs and activities of the Court into hybrid or blended learning platforms; and the conduct of online trials and hearings in all the courts.” (PNA)

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