EU provides PHP 6.6 million to support the DOJ’s digitization of prisoner records and contribute to prison decongestion
Through the EU’s Governance in Justice Programme (GOJUST), the European Union has turned over critical IT equipment - laptops, webcams, high-speed digital scanners and biometric equipment – worth Php 1.8 million to the Bureau of Corrections, an agency of the Department of Justice. GOJUST will also fund the hiring of encoders to carry out the process of digitization for an estimated additional Php 4.8 million. The turnover of IT equipment was held on 11 May 2022 with a keynote address by Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra and a message by EU Ambassador H.E. Luc Véron. “The European Union has been a committed partner to the Philippine’s Justice Sector reform since 2006. Our engagement stems from the importance we attach to democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. By working to strengthen institutions’ efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of justice services, we can help improve access to justice for all,” said Ambassador Véron. The EU’s contribution will support the digitization of the paper carpetas of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs). A carpeta is a folder containing all the institutional records of PDLs.
Once the digitization project is completed, processing of early release for eligible PDLs will become more efficient and faster. By helping implement the Single Carpeta, GOJUST will also contribute to reduce the number of prisoners who are overstaying their sentence. Priority will be given for the digitization of the carpetas of PDLs in the Correctional Institution for Women. The work with on paper carpetas held by BuCor is part of the implementation of the Department of Justice’s Single Carpeta System, a nationwide comprehensive case monitoring and information management system for of the country’s correction facilities, which will ultimately contribute to prison decongestion. ### With a total grant of EUR19 million (Php 1.1 billion ) over a period of four years, the EU’s GOJUST Programme: 1) supports the Philippine Supreme Court, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government, to improve access to justice for all Filipinos and thus, contribute to inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development; 2) aims at strengthening the Commission on Human Rights to exert its constitutional mandate of civil and political rights protection and enhance human rights promotion in the Philippines consistent with the United Nations’ Paris principles. GOJUST is implemented through technical assistance by the British Council and logistical and grant management support from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) as well as the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).