The national government is set to launch the country’s first “Green Justice Zone” in Puerto Princesa City this November 10, which will be “the premiere showcase of national-local government collaboration for efficient and effective delivery of justice in environmental protection and natural resource management.”
Mayor Lucilo R. Bayron, during the flag raising ceremony today, disclosed to the city officials and employees that Puerto Princesa will be the first in the country to be declared as “Green Justice Zone” in a bid to expedite environment-related cases in the country.
“First time sa buong Pilipinas ito. E-declare tayo na Green Justice Zone,” he said.
Mayor Bayron said that several environmental cases have not been resolved in the past, which render the confiscated items useless and go to waste.
“Ang mga lantsa at mga kahoy na nakokompiska, nabubulok na lang pero ang kaso hindi na nareresolba,” he said.
The JSCC explained the Green Justice Zone would “enhance capacity and coordination among justice sectors to come up with solutions and strategies on how to best address concerns on the handling and adjudication of environmental cases, among others. The Justice Zone project adheres to its objective of a swift and fair administration of the criminal justice system.”
Last month, members of the Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC) led by Supreme Court Associate Justice Maria Filomena Singh visited Puerto Princesa City and discussed with Palawan Governor Victorino Dennis Socrates and City Mayor Lucilo R. Bayron the preparations for the unveiling of the Green Justice Zone. Singh is the head of the JSCC Technical Working Group on Processes and Capacity Building while Socrates is the chairman of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD).
Previous discussions in preparation for the declaration this November 10, includes the crafting of a comprehensive manual for all stakeholders involved in the legal process, including judges, prosecutors, and law enforcers. This would serve as a guide in handling environmental cases, ensuring that all parties have a shared understanding of the unique challenges and complexities these cases entail.
In an article published by Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, it welcomed this initiative of the Supreme Court.
“The Supreme Court’s determination to create a Green Zone in Puerto Princesa signifies a momentous stride toward sustainability, showcasing the Philippine judiciary’s dedication to the environment’s preservation. With the groundwork laid down during this Zoom meeting, the future is looking greener and more environmentally conscious for Puerto Princesa and the entire nation,” PCSD said.
The JSCC said that the Green Justice Zone in Puerto Princesa is anticipated to showcase the collaboration of national and local governments in the efficient and effective delivery of justice in environmental protection and natural resource management. Its establishment is part of the justice sector’s initiative to set up the so-called Justice Zones nationwide.