Asian Development Bank to help reform Philippine justice system
The Asian Development Bank said Wednesday that it had approved a 300-million-dollar loan to help the Philippine government improve the integrity and efficiency of its justice system, reported dpa.
The Manila-based bank said the loan would be used to increase budget resources, improve public expenditure management and introduce new internal controls in the judiciary.
"By supporting more competitive salaries and higher budgets, the loan is expected to reduce vacancies among judges and prosecutors, improve information and case management systems, and help cut delays in the justice system," the bank said in a statement.
The bank said high caseloads and low conviction rates were prevalent in the court system while resource constraints had made justice sector agencies susceptible to external influences.
Allegations of bribery, graft and other outside influences were "undermining the independence of courts, the integrity of other agencies and efficiency in public service delivery," it said.
The bank said the loan programme would strengthen judicial fiscal autonomy and justice sector accountability as well as improve the governance and efficiency of service delivery.
"This programme responds to a clear message we get from repeated surveys - that the Filipino people expect higher standards from their public officials," said Jaseem Ahmed, director of the Governance, Finance and Trade Division of the bank's South-East Asia Department.
"They want better governance and better justice services," he said.
The bank said it had also approved a 2.2-million-dollar technical assistance grant to assist the various justice sector agencies to prepare governance and policy reforms under the loan programme.