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Philippines - Rule of Law Program

Bolster the Rule of Law and Enhance Access to Justice in the Philippines

Access to Justice and Support for the Rule of Law in the Philippines Program (ACCESS) is a USAID funded five-year program designed to bolster the rule of law and enhance access to justice in the Philippines. This goal is directed towards the most vulnerable communities in the Philippines, those whose rights are least protected, interests ignored, and ability to access a fair and predictable legal system most restricted. Through ACCESS, ABA ROLI endeavors to continue providing support for the efficient and fair administration of justice in the Philippines in partnership with key institutions, including the Supreme Court of the Philippines,the Philippine Judicial Academy, the Integrated Bar, and civil society partners.

Strengthen the Capacity of the Philippine Government to Address the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Funded by the US Department of Labor, the Against Child Exploitation (ACE) program, is dedicated towards strengthening the capacity of the Philippine government to address the worst forms of child labor, including the online sexual exploitation of children, and promote acceptable conditions of work through a unified and participatory approach. This is a 12-month initiative between ABA ROLI and World Vision. In the Philippines, ABA ROLI seeks to identify gaps in the current legal and implementation frameworks established to protect Filipino children; raise awareness regarding what is acceptable child work and what is prohibited; and create and deliver capacity building for labor inspectors, social workers, and relevant law enforcement stakeholders on occupational safety and health.

Support indigenous communities in the Philippines during the COVID-19 crisis

The Indigenous Peoples Rapid Response (IPRR) program is a USAID-funded grant aimed at supporting indigenous communities during the COVID-19 crisis. Indigenous peoples (IPs) in the Philippines experienced limited access to information on the COVID-19 pandemic, health and safety measures, and government assistance in indigenous languages. The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns significantly impacted IP communities and caused increased food insecurity, increased joblessness due to loss of tourism, sale of handicrafts, and seasonal work, as well as constraints on their ability to access support from CSOs. ABA ROLI works with local organizations providing support to IP communities to ensure communities have access to key COVID-19 related information on health, education, access to justice, and relevant government programs.  

Introduce Reforms to the Country’s Preliminary Investigation Process 

The International Justice Sector Education and Training (IJET) Philippines program aims to introduce reforms to the country’s preliminary investigation process to efficiently and effectively prosecution of high-priority, high-impact criminal offenses against high-ranking public officials and employees. Funded by the US Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, these efforts will result in a  decongestion of dockets and a more focused, expeditious disposition of cases involving large-scale graft and corruption. Additionally, the reforms will strengthen the monitoring efforts of the country’s implementation of the Ombudsman’s decisions in administrative and disciplinary cases. Other ways the reforms will improve the country’s investigation process are: create synergy between national justice sector agencies, increase the survival rate of cases filed before the Anti-Graft Court, improve the conviction rate; and improve public awareness and understanding on the functions of the Office of the Ombudsman.