News & Media

Establishing the Philippine Index of Crimes

February 13, 2018

Chapter 6, Pursuing Swift and Fair Administration of Justice, of the Philippine Development Plan directs the justice sector to work together in developing, adopting and continually updating a national crime index.  This includes all crimes and its corresponding penalties as prescribed in the Revised Penal Code and special penal laws. The index will be used for purposes of the National Justice Information System and Criminal Justice Information Exchange, crime statistics and research, implementation of the 2015 United Nation (UN) Standard Crime Classification for Statistical Purposes, as well as development of vital policies and legislations, including codification/indexation of crimes, penalties and bail bond amounts.

Within the next three years, it is envisioned that the Philippine government should already have harmonized crime data and information systems used for reporting, evaluation, decision making and policy development. One of the critical prerequisites to this is the subject index of crimes that will be adopted mainly by justice sector agencies.

Towards this end, GOJUST, with support from the European Union, has started to  develop a complete listing of all crimes and corresponding penalties under the Revised Penal Code and all other laws with penal provisions.  A standard Philippine classification for all said crimes and appropriate matching with the UN ICCS has been completed and is now in the process of quality assurance and eventual approval by the appropriate authorities. Justice sector institutions shall work together to formulate the necessary policy mechanisms that will ensure the adoption, use and updating of the index.

Currently, there is no single official reference document in the country where all national crimes are listed, classified and indexed.  This has contributed to a lack of standard classification of all crimes apart from those in the Revised Penal Code.  Government agencies have to contend with varying crime and case statistics because of different categories used, making it impossible to integrate IT-based case management systems across agencies.  It is also difficult to undertake legal research and policy development that require mapping and comparative analysis of offenses and corresponding penalties.  Moreover, the government has to contend with their inability to adopt the United Nations International Classification of Crime for Statistical Purposes (ICCS).