Access to Justice Network Training in Palawan

Access to justice is a basic human right enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Meeting these rights has however been a challenge to both the government and non-governmental organisations. Surveys have shown that members of poor and marginalised groups have expressed great dissatisfaction in the delivery of legal services and of their ability to access justice system in general. It is in this context that the Access to Justice Network Program has been developed. The purpose of the AJN program is to increase accessibility to civil, criminal and administrative justice systems of the poor and disadvantaged. By empowering citizens to seek and obtain remedies through improving their legal awareness and, in tandem, by capacitating government and legal aid services to provide more responsive administration of formal and informal justice it is hoped that access to justice may effectively be realised. 

The European Union, through the EPJUST II, has thus decided to support the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) in partnership with the Provincial Government of Palawan and the United Muslim Communities in Palawan for Peace and Progress (UMCPPP) to develop and pilot the Access to Justice Network (AJN) Program in the province of Palawan. The project partnership developed operational and training manuals for the AJN and trained barangay officers/facilitators of prospective AJN pilot areas in 10 select barangays to prepare them for implementing barangay-based legal assistance and referral AJN centers for their constituents. There were five trainees per barangay for a total of 50 trained AJN facilitators. AJN centers in these barangays will become operational anywhere from the last month of this year to the first quarter of 2016.