MANILAThe European Union (EU) has reaffirmed its readiness to continue support to the Philippines' justice sector reform as its funded Governance in Justice (GOJUST) programme expires in 2019.
The GOJUST programme, launched in 2017, is an PHP850 million-worth of grant from the EU, with an additional contribution of PHP105 million from the government of Spain.
"GOJUST has now entered its final year of implementation and I'm pleased to see that actions and activities under the programme are accelerating as we approach the end phase," EU Ambassador to the PHilippines Franz Jessen said in a speech during the launch on Friday of the country's fourth Justice Zone in Pampanga.
Jessen said EU's commitment to strengthening the justice sector remains a "key element" in its cooperation portfolio for Manila.
"If we all agreed that this continues to be an area where EU cooperation funds can have added value, we are ready to begin a discussion with you on how best to pursue our cooperation in 2020 once GOJUST come to an end," he said.
Aside from helping improve coordination in the justice sector, the program's main component is the establishment of justice zones in different provinces.
In describing the GOJUST programme, Jessen said it is "innovative" as it adopts a process-oriented and strategic approach to strengthen the rule of law in the Philippines.
Among others, it also supports the institutionalization of the Justice Sector Coordinating Council, led by Supreme Court Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo AAo, and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency