A critical portion of the ALG's policy work is their assistance to the marginalized groups in the formulation of legislative and executive policy agenda, both for the local and national governments.
The ALG believes that a supportive policy environment is crucial for the sustainability of its judicial reform agenda. The network's policy reform work is geared towards effecting societal changes that address the systemic inequalities that victimize the poor and the marginalized. Furthermore, advocacy work should exact accountability from policy makers.
In the Advocacy Conference for Alternative Law Group Members and Formulation of Executive and Legislative Agenda conducted by the ALG in 2004, six issues were identified and prioritized by the ALG:
1) The Indefeasibility of Emancipation Patents (EP) and the Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) Bill.
These are titles issued in favor of farmers who became beneficiaries under the agrarian reform programs of the Philippines. Yet in the face of its implementation, the program's weak points and loopholes are being undermined by landlords in an effort to defeat the very essence of the law. Case after case has been filed in courts which have the effect of nullifying the issuance of such titles, despite the lapse of considerable periods of time and landowners invoking provisions for their own benefit. Given the implications these entail to the implementation of the agrarian reform program, the following recommendations through appropriate policies and legislations are proposed: (1) EPs and CLOAs should be deemed and treated as titles brought under the operation of the Torrens System enjoy the same indefeasibility and security afforded to all titles under the said Torrens System as provided under Presidential Decree 1529. (2) DAR should reject applications for conversion and exemption of lands devoted to or suitable for agriculture where EPs and CLOAs have already been distributed. Farmers who qualified and awarded with registered lands under P.D. No. 27 and R.A. 6657 are hereby deemed purchasers in good faith and are entitled to the rights and protection of all such purchasers under existing laws
2) The Local Sectoral Representation (LSR) Bill.
The LSR is a system that ensures the participation of marginalized sectors in the local decision-making processes. It is the local equivalent of the party-list system where different sectors will be represented in legislative bodies such as the sangguniang bayan, sangguniang panlunsod, and sangguniang panlalawigan.
3) The Juvenile Justice Bill.
This bill establishes a comprehensive juvenile justice system which is child sensitive and adheres to the principle of restorative justice. Restorative justice not only pertains to their rehabilitation but likewise works toward restoring justice for victims and the community.
4) The National Land Use Bill.
It is unfortunate that the poor - peasants, fisherfolks, indigenous communities, and urban poor, whose lives are directly connected to the land - bear the brunt of the irrational use of land resources. This bill puts forth a holistic, just, participatory, rational, and comprehensive land use policy. This legislation will clearly set the priorities for land utilization that will ensure the sustainable use and development of our country's land resources.
5) Enhancing Labor Disputes Settlements Bill.
The thrust of the bill is to have a single entry point for all industrial and labor disputes, promoting simplicity and minimizing bureaucracy. These changes hope to address the prevailing confusion on jurisdiction in the present system. Delay is a sad part of labor justice. Opportunities for delay, and hence, corruption, should be minimized. Appeals, while necessary, should be limited to petitions for grave abuse before the Supreme Court. The matter of delay is addressed through a system of mediation designed to reduce the number of claims reaching arbitration.
6) The Reproductive Health Care Bill.
With a rational policy on reproductive health in place, local government units will be better guided in implementing the minimum standards of health care and basic health services shall be standardized and no longer subject to the whims and politics of changing administrations. The same draft best embodies a rights based approach and respects the decision making of women and men in reproductive health. While the reproductive health care act does not change the state policy on abortion, the same policy hopes to contribute to the decrease of abortions resorted to simply because of ignorance and powerlessness to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
see related links: ALG SC petition re Proclamation 1017, ALG SC petition EO 464, The Indefeasibility of EP and the CLOA Bill, Local Sectoral Representation Bill, Juvenile Justice Bill, National Land Use Bill, Enhancing Labor Disputes Settlements Bill, Reproductive Health Care Bill, The Indefeasibility of EP/CLOA FAQ, Juvenile Justice Bill FAQ, National Land Use Act FAQ, Enhancing Labor Disputes Settlements Bill FAQ, Reproductive Health Bill FAQ
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