SC receives laptop donations from EU
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court received 70 laptops worth P3 million from the European Union’s GoJust Programme, in order to help the judiciary continue its operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to GoJust, this program is the latest in efforts to help the country’s judicial system, which would ensure that the cases of persons deprived of liberty would still be heard, although through video conferencing.
“To ensure that the judiciary continues to perform their functions despite COVID-19, the Supreme Court recently required the conduct of videoconferencing hearings for criminal cases with Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) pursuant to Section 6 of Supreme Court Administrative Order No. 41 – 2020,” GoJust said in a statement.
Aside from the laptops, the initiative also brought 120 tablets for video conferencing and various personal protective equipment ( PPEs) to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology to facilitate the safe participation of PDLs and to protect jail facilities from local coronavirus transmissions.
“The provision of the laptops aims at helping the court system to deliver justice and reduce the backlogs created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” EU delegation head Thomas Wiersing said during the virtual turnover.
“I hope that the videoconferencing for court proceedings could continue beyond the crisis to contribute to a more effective justice system,” he added.
This is not the first time that GoJust provided assistance to the country’s justice and reformation sectors while the pandemic is going on. Just this July 17, the Quezon City Jail received a bus from the program, which may be used to transport inmates who may have contracted the disease.
Then EU also provided assistance to BJMP before, this time for their efforts to link the PDLs with their families through video chat.
Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said that the donations are a big boost to the Supreme Court’s current operations.
“With these new laptops and the 120 multi-media tablets that GOJUST has also provided to the BJMP, we expect more videoconferencing hearings to be conducted, especially in areas that need it most,” Peralta said.
“Indeed, it is in challenging times, such as these, that we are given the opportunity to rise to the occasion and work together to find new and different ways to improve our operations and strengthen our institution,” he added.
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