Empowering Every Juan: A New Era For Judiciary In Philippines

July 6, 2023 by
RJ Gumban

Imagine a judicial system that's timely, fair, and transparent—a system that's inclusive and technologically adaptive. Sounds like a far-off dream?

Not anymore.

The Supreme Court's Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 (SPJI) is here to turn this dream into reality, promising a new era of judicial accessibility for every Filipino.

At UNAWA, we're excited to dive into what this means for Every Juan. Stick around as we unpack the potential of SPJI to revolutionize our legal landscape, making justice not just a privilege but a rightful claim.

Ready? Let's dive in.

The Current State of Judiciary in the Philippines

Ever felt like you were lost in the legal labyrinth? You're not alone. Currently, our judicial system is like a complex jigsaw puzzle that leaves many Filipinos scratching their heads.

RELATED: Background Note on the Justice Sector of the Philippines

At UNAWA, we've been following the issues plaguing our judiciary. It's no secret—a backlog of cases, a slow resolution process, and a lack of transparency often leave ordinary Filipinos like Juan feeling disconnected and confused.

The consequences? Well, Juan often feels like justice is a distant concept rather than a daily reality. Delays in court proceedings can result in protracted legal battles. Lengthy and costly processes make seeking justice seem like a privilege rather than a right.

And then there's the big 'C'—corruption. Let's not dance around it. It's a chronic problem that undermines the public's faith in the system. It creates an unequal playing field, where the rule of law sometimes feels more like 'the law of the jungle.'

RELATED: SC Justice Leonen: Corruption Still Exists in Courts

Moreover, a lack of transparency and accountability often leaves Juan in the dark, turning justice into a confusing maze rather than a clear, straight path.

It's a daunting picture, isn't it? But don't lose hope just yet. With the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027, there's a bright light at the end of this tunnel.

The Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027

In our last section, we discussed our judiciary's challenges today, from red tape to the overwhelming backlog of cases. The current system isn't really the "every-Juan-friendly" setup that it should be.

But fear not!

There's a revolutionary plan on the horizon: the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 (SPJI). This roadmap for reform promises to turn things around.

The Birth of SPJI

So, we're all asking, can it really solve our judiciary system's knotty issues? It's a big, bold roadmap to a better judiciary, where justice isn't just a word in the dictionary but a lived reality for every Juan.

Launched in a special En Banc Session, the SPJI isn't just another document—it's a blueprint, a plan of action, the culmination of collective efforts from all 15 Supreme Court Justices.

A beacon of hope for justice seekers, it's also a testament to the hard work and dedication of the past and present members of the Court and a promise for a better tomorrow.

Justice in the Driver's Seat

At the helm of this reform is a man of vision—Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo. His remarks during the launch of SPJI are nothing short of transformative.

Chief Justice Gesmundo highlighted that the SPJI isn't just his brainchild; it's a shared vision that will outlast his tenure and remain relevant for decades.

His forward-thinking approach dismisses the "I" mentality, emphasizing the power of collective efforts.

And his dedication? He views the SPJI as a bridge to a more responsive and timely justice for Filipinos.

It's this conviction that we at UNAWA deeply admire.

Guiding Principles and Targeted Outcomes

Now, you're probably wondering, what's in this SPJI that makes it game-changing? Well, it's grounded on four guiding principles that aim to reshape the judiciary's delivery of justice radically.

  1. Timely and Fair Justice: No more waiting for years to get a court date or a judgment. The SPJI plans to make justice swift yet fair.Transparent and
  2. Accountable Justice: Remember how we talked about the labyrinth? SPJI aims to replace it with a clear, navigable pathway, making the justice system more transparent and accountable.
  3. Equal and Inclusive Justice: Justice isn't a privilege for a few. It's a right for every Filipino, and the SPJI is all set to make justice more equal and inclusive.
  4. Technology Adaptive: Who says courts and technology don't mix? The SPJI aims to embrace the digital age, making the judiciary technology adaptive.

By sticking to these guiding principles, the SPJI aims to achieve three significant outcomes: Efficiency, Innovation, and Access.

So, here's the big picture: an efficient system that swiftly resolves cases, innovative mechanisms that modernize processes, and increased access to justice for all Filipinos.

It's a tall order, yes. But with the shared vision of the SPJI, we're not just dreaming of a better judiciary. We're building it, one step at a time.

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Business Community and SPJI

Business folks, the Court's got a special invite for you! As the SPJI takes flight, the judiciary extends its hand to the business community to join the initiative.

Why? Because justice isn't just about resolving personal disputes or putting bad guys behind bars; it's also about creating a healthy environment for businesses to thrive.

An efficient and fair judiciary is a sturdy safety net for our entrepreneurs.

Imagine this: Juan decides to launch a startup. He's confident because he knows that the judiciary, powered by the SPJI, has his back if legal hitches come up.
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It means no more waiting ages for commercial disputes to be resolved or grappling with opaque procedures that spin your head.

So, how can the SPJI impact business operations and the economy? Let's break it down:

  • Speedy Dispute Resolution: With the promise of timely justice, businesses won't be stuck in legal limbo for months or even years. Quicker resolution means less downtime and more time to focus on growth.
  • Transparency and Accountability: Businesses can better navigate legal processes and avoid potential pitfalls with a transparent, accountable system.
  • Equal Opportunities: An inclusive judiciary opens up opportunities for SMEs and startups. Our buddy Juan doesn't need to have deep pockets to get justice.
  • Tech-Adaptiveness: A tech-savvy judiciary can make legal processes more efficient and accessible, saving businesses valuable time and resources.

The SPJI can lead to a more robust and resilient economy, foster trust in our legal system, and spur entrepreneurial spirit. The business community isn't just a spectator in this journey; it's a critical player that can help make the promise of the SPJI a reality.

Participation and Role of Stakeholders

Don't be mistaken; the judiciary isn't embarking on this reform journey alone. Implementing the SPJI effectively involves everyone.

Yes, you heard that right, folks! The success of this initiative lies in the hands of various stakeholders, including you, us, and of course, our ever-enthusiastic Juan.

RELATED: The Fifth Pillar of the PCJS Is the Community

We all have a part to play. From court users to government officials, from our hard-working judges to legal practitioners, and definitely not forgetting the business community, we can contribute to transforming the judiciary and achieving the SPJI's goals.

Let us share some insights from Santiago Dumlao, Secretary General of the Association of Credit Rating Agencies in Asia. He views the SPJI as a roadmap and a call to action for all of us. His exact words:

"It is worth spending time to read this document. Then to ponder and seek ways on how to participate in getting these outcomes achieved—for we can, as stakeholders in the business sector."

So, whether it's providing feedback, using efficient judicial services, or simply spreading the word about the SPJI, there's a role for everyone. This collective effort will lead to a judiciary system that's as empowering as efficient.

After all, the heart of the SPJI is not just improving the judiciary—it's about empowering every Juan of us to shape our nation's future.

Future Implications

Successful implementation of the SPJI is more than just revitalizing our judiciary. It signifies a transformation set to touch every Filipino's life, especially our Juan.

Think about it: Faster court decisions, transparent processes, and equal access for everyone. This doesn't just mean justice is served; it empowers Filipinos.

At UNAWA, we're all about riding this wave of change. Our digital products, SignSecure and ForMA, are steps towards an adaptive, efficient, and inclusive future.

SignSecure simplifies contract execution with secure, legally binding digital signatures, while ForMA streamlines corporate meetings, making them efficient and compliant. These innovations are aligned with the very principles SPJI aims to implement.

But what does this mean for our Juan? It means a world where Juan doesn't have to navigate a labyrinthine legal system—a world where justice is served timely and fairly, without bias, and within his reach.

Imagine a world where Juan confidently steps into a business, knowing that an efficient and reliable judiciary has his back. That's a world we all want to live in.

These changes may sound revolutionary, and they are. But isn't that what we need? A revolution, a shake-up that pushes us out of our comfort zones and into a new era where justice is not just a concept but a reality for every Juan.

The SPJI is not just a plan; it's the future, and that future looks promising.


We've journeyed from the status quo of our judiciary, explored the promising dawn brought by the SPJI, and envisioned a future where Juan can access justice freely and fearlessly.

At the core of this transformation is a commitment to adaptability and innovation, values we uphold at UNAWA.

We can all be part of this journey. As we champion the SPJI, we pave the way for a just society where business thrives, and every Juan feels safe and heard.

The future of justice is in our hands, so let's grasp it firmly. Let's stay informed, supportive, and proactive.

To kickstart your journey toward this new era, sign up to UNAWA today and participate in this groundbreaking change.

The time for justice is now.

RJ Gumban July 6, 2023
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