The Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) led by Secretary Mark Llandro L. Mendoza, together with Undersecretary Bernardino E. Sayo, PLLO–Senate, Undersecretary Agapito H. Guanlao, PLLO–House of Representatives, Assistant Secretary Rose Virginie B. Iñigo, and other officials from the PLLO, hosted a meeting with the Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC) Technical Working Group (TWG) on Legislative Agenda and Policies, led by the TWG Chairperson Court Administrator Raul B. Villanueva and TWG Vice Chairperson Court of Appeals Associate Justice Jennifer Joy C. Ong, on October 2, 2023 at the Marriott Hotel, Pasay City.
Other attendees from the JSCC are Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary for External, Legal and Legislative Affairs Juan Victor R. Llamas, Department of Justice (DOJ) Chief State Counsel Dennis Arvin L. Chan, DOJ State Counsel V Atty. Rosario Elena Laborte-Cuevas, Judicial Integrity Board Acting Executive Director and Deputy Clerk of Court-at-Large Atty. James DV. Navarrete, Judicial Supervisor Atty. Cherry C. Coliamco, Supreme Court Program Management Office (SC PMO) Court Attorney VI Atty. Antonio Andre D. Calizo, SC PMO Court Attorney VI Atty. Apple Jane B. Clemente, and SC PMO Project Development Officer IV Mr. Jeremy Lloyd E. Vidal.
The TWG apprised the PLLO of the judiciary’s Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 (SPJI) and discussed the JSCC Legislative Agenda for 2023 and the status updates of priority bills relative to the justice sector that are pending in both houses of Congress. The PLLO, on the other hand, discussed legislative advocacy strategies and interventions to shepherd priority legislative agenda in Congress and advance priority bills in the various stages of the legislative mill.
The TWG on Legislative Agenda and Policies, in furtherance of its function to establish a legislative network for the JSCC, requested for this meeting with the PLLO to foster cooperation and enhance the links between the JSCC and PLLO, especially since the PLLO is the primary arm of the President and the entire executive branch in promoting presidential legislative initiatives, policy reforms, and development programs in the legislative branch of government, while the JSCC TWG on Legislative Agenda and Policies serves as the driver of policy and legislative advocacy of the JSCC.
The TWG on Legislative Agenda and Policies was created pursuant to JSCC Joint Resolution No. 01-2014 dated August 20, 2014. Among its functions under the said joint resolution are to draft the annual legislative agenda for the JSCC, establish a legislative network for the JSCC, and draft and defend priority bills relative to the justice sector.
The TWG on Legislative Agenda and Policies is currently drafting the JSCC bill. Although the JSCC has been functional since its inception through the joint resources of its three member-agencies, there is a need to formally recognize the JSCC as a government body with a permanent secretariat to provide technical and logistical support to the JSCC. This was recognized under the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 (PDP) when it mandated the enactment of the JSCC enabling law to institutionalize coordination mechanisms in the justice sector. This legislation shall establish the statutory authority and direction of the JSCC that will empower it further to carry out its objectives while at all times respecting and preserving the independence of the three member-agencies.
Photos courtesy of PLLO.