If you’ve been living in the Philippines, ever wondered why some government establishments are hard to find?
I for one scour the edges of Manila to find a government office (I don’t know if I’m allowed to say, but this office reeks of Pineapples, or not. Go figure.). I tried using Google maps but I ended on a wrongly marked building with full of overseas recruitment agencies.
To my surprise, upon asking the locals and braving the terrible heat, the office is situated in a far-off building with a probably closed tile shop at the ground floor. There were no sign boards or any indication a government office is living or breathing in the building. Pretty much like a hidden Diagon Alley in Harry Potter.
I know. Without a magical envoy, who would’ve known it even existed?!
But if you are looking for courts of law in the Philippines, your search might be over. Literally.
The Find Justice PH Application just launched to help you find the courts near you!
Waze For Justice in the Philippines, Even For Those Who Can’t Afford It
With the collaboration between the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the new Justice PH app launched last April 19, 2018.
It is a geographic information system that serves as an online map guide (similar to Waze). Upon usage, it will show the top three nearest trial courts and legal aid centers in your current location. It also provides a directory of the numbers of these centers for ease of communication. You can use it offline too!
For the legal system to work, the common people should have access to our judicial facilities. And this app is a substantial next step towards that goal. If you need case handling, counseling, or legal aid, this app can certainly give you easier access compared to before.
Atty. Amador Tolentino Jr., the IBP’s Chief of Staff and Presidential Liaison for the Judiciary, said that this mobile app was a product of months of gathering, verification and coordination with partner agencies.
These partner agencies even include a plethora of organizations that may help those people who can’t afford legal assistance. For the needy, it’s like a catalog of organizations willing to help you! How cool is that?
The app also has Procedures for Availment, Judicial Reforms, and FAQS for the discerning user in case you want to know what and how to qualify.
Plans For The Future
It’s not without its flaws. Some location listed might not be accurate because of GPS problems, the trial courts changing addresses, or just mere human error. But a feedback button can be clicked to report any incorrect information posted. And with the constant review of information, both from the makers and the users, the app is always in check.
For the future, this app may even provide information about court resolutions, updates for pending cases, and even procedural guides. Let us thank the Philippine Government. This simple modernization is surely welcomed!