GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 29 Apr) – Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin led the unveiling here on Monday of the P8-million Archive Building donated by the city government for the eight local trial courts.
The Chief Justice personally accepted from city officials led by Mayor Ronnel Rivera the newly-completed two-story repository building, which is considered as the first ever funded by a local government unit (LGU) in the country.
He said it was his first time as Chief Justice to inaugurate “a building that is independent and separately an archives repository” for the courts.
“This never happened before. I don’t recall of any city or province that has dedicated a building exclusively to house records that would otherwise clutter the pathways of the courthouses,” he said during the inauguration rites.
Bersamin lauded the city government for its “generosity” in pursuing the project and being a “true partner in the delivery of justice.”
The local government, through Mayor Rivera, approved the project in 2015 to help address the lack of repository facilities for archived documents of the city’s five Regional Trial Courts and three Municipal Trial Courts in Cities.
The Archive Building was built within the Integrated Bar of the Philippines property beside the Hall of Justice compound in Barangay Lagao.
“This is part of our continuing commitment to help address the needs of our courts here,” the mayor said.
Bersamin said the new building will be utilized by the eight courts in storing both active and archived court documents.
It will address the limitations of spaces and store old files and papers separately from court rooms and their adjunct offices, he said.
He expects the operations of the courts to improve, especially in the maintenance of their records.
The Chief Justice appealed for more support from other LGUs for the improvement of local courts and support facilities.
Since he assumed in November last year as Chief Justice, Bersamin has sought the help of LGUs in addressing the needs of the judiciary, especially in terms of infrastructure.
He cited the construction of new courthouses and needed facilities and the improvement or enhancement of existing courthouses “that have been inadequate for the purpose they had been intended.”
Bersamin acknowledged that while the SC should distance itself from other government offices, it cannot address these needs by its own.
He hoped that other LGUs would respond and also provide the needed assistance to the local courts. (MindaNews)