Tuesday, 20 Nov 2018

SENTRO NG ALTERNSTIBONG LINGAP PANLEGAL (SALIGAN)

BIENNIAL REPORT (2014-2015)

Contents:

  1. Vision
  2. Mission
  3. Programs
  4. Major Activities
  5. Summary of Activities for 2014-2015:
    1. a. Paralegal Formation Program
    2. b. Legal Literacy
    3. c. Litigation Assistance
    4. d. Policy Advocacy
    5. e. Publication
  6. Engagement/Participation in Local Governance
  7. Partners
  8. Personnel


Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panlegal (SALIGAN) is a legal resource non-governmental organization doing developmental legal work with farmers and fishers, workers, the urban poor, women, and local communities. Founded in 1987, SALIGAN is among the oldest and biggest members of the Alternative Law Groups, Inc. (ALG), a coalition of 21 law groups in the Philippines engaged in the practice of alternative or developmental law.

I. Vision:

SALIGAN envisions a Philippine society that is just, peaceful, compassionate, and liberating. One where each person, woman or man, is free to live a life more fully human, unfettered by poverty, violence, prejudice, and discrimination. Where the rights of everyone are respected and advanced, regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual identity, culture, or ethnic or regional origin.

SALIGAN envisions a state that is sovereign, progressive, and democratic. One where women, the basic sectors and local communities actively engage in all levels of governance and policy-making. Where there is respect for peoples' right to self-determination. Where political power is pursued to ensure the welfare of all, and to correct unjust social relations.

SALIGAN envisions a national economy that is sustainable, self-reliant, and inclusive. One where women, the basic sectors and local communities participate in allocating resources and directing growth. Where wealth is distributed to ensure the innate dignity of all.

SALIGAN envisions an environment that is healthful, balanced and sustainable. Where peoples manage natural resources within their communities responsibly and equitably.

SALIGAN envisions a legal system that is reflective, dynamic, inclusive and accessible. One where women, the basic sectors and local communities freely advocate their causes and assert their rights. Where laws and remedies are employed as instruments of justice, peace and development.

SALIGAN envisions a people who live in hope. A people, who in the face of the sufferings around and inside them, trust in their power to transcend.

II. Mission:

SALIGAN seeks to effect societal change by working with women, the basic sectors, and local communities for their empowerment through the creative use of the law and legal resources.

III. Programs:

SALIGAN has five (5) programs, on women, labor, the urban poor and peasant sectors, and local governance, each engaged in legal literacy and paralegal formulation, litigation support, policy advocacy, research and publication, and internship.

WOMEN – We handle cases of women victims of gender based violence. We advocate for the enactment of laws addressing women’s issues. We have also trained paralegals that assist litigants in the courtroom and other women in crisis.

WORKERS – We analyze amendments to the Labor Code, engage in the discussion of public sector union issues and address migrant workers concerns. We also address issues on security of tenure, the right to a living wage and speedy labor justice, and the welfare of women workers.

PEACE – We advocate for the peaceful resolution of conflicts in Mindanao and  other community-based disputes.  We capacitate community members on ADR mechanisms.

ENVIRONMENT – We work with CSO seeking ways toward sustainable development. We file cases on violations affecting the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology. We capacitate the basic sectors to enable them protect the environment.

LOCAL GOVERNANCE – We direct our efforts and resources to increasing people’s participation in local governance. We conduct trainings on local legislation and policy formulation, the barangay justice system, and the national advocacy to democratizing local governance.

IV. Major Activities:

Legal Literacy and Paralegal Formation

We help reduce the monopoly of legal knowledge and skills among traditional practitioners, by training paralegals to address the legal needs of their organizations and communities

Litigation Support

We handle precedent-setting cases on issues that impact on the sector’s advancement, and make use of alternative modes of dispute settlement.

Policy Advocacy

We review and analyze existing laws, bills and executive issuances, and provide consultancy services. We draft bills, executive issuances and implementing rules, and participate in public hearings, fora and conferences.

Research and Publication

We conduct research on issues affecting the marginalized sectors in the Philippines. We publish primers, newsletter, manuals and other references aimed at popularizing the law.

Internship

We promote the practice of alternative law by participating in the formation of law students in the country’s universities.

V. Summary of Programs and Activities for 2014-2015:

Paralegal Formation Program

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SALIGAN trained thirty-three (33) paralegals on 2014, twenty-four of which are female. In 2015 a total of one hundred sixty-six (166) paralegals graduated from the paralegal formation program seventy-three (73) of which are females.


The paralegal formation programs were conducted in different areas across the country, with specific issues and concerns such as protection right of the indigenous people in the Province of Camarines Norte, garments factory workers in processing zone in Cavite, and children’s right to participation in the Province of South Cotabato and Quezon City.


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Group of workers paralegal in Mindanao attended the

LAMPARA Paralegal Training Program.

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The Kabihug, a group of indigenous people in Camarines Norte attended the paralegal formation program conducted by SALIGAN-Bicol.

Legal Literacy Training

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SALIGAN conducted a total of eighty-three (83) legal education seminars in 2014 and 2015. Most of these training sessions benefited the various sectors like women, children, workers, indigenous people and other local communities working for environmental protection and empowerment in the Philippines.

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Group of children from the Province of Iloilo attended the capacity building on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change in partnership with Save the Children.

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Taken during the capacity building and consultation of local government representatives, civil society organizations, and community stakeholders in the Province of Leyte. This activity was conducted in partnership with Save the Children.


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Capacity building on Mainstreaming Nutrition in Local Governance in Municipality of Pilar, Sorsogon. A project with EDUCO, a child rights based organization in the Philippines.

3. Litigation Support

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SALIGAN continuously extend legal assistance to the select member of marginalized groups in the country. For 2014-2015 SALIGAN represented various sectors in actual litigation with a total of thirty-four (34) cases pending in the courts and other quasi-judicial agencies. The majority of which are in the appellate courts waiting for the resolutions.

Strategizing session were regularly conducted with the partners with pending cases while a consultation is conducted in the schedule implemented in the offices.

4. Policy Advocacy Activities

 

SALIGAN continued its work for policy changes, both in the national and local levels, that affect the poor and the marginalized.  As such, participation in legislative and executive processes, conduct of fora, networking and meetings were integral our its work.

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Policy assessment forum on Strengthening Child Rights Systems in Rehabilitation/DRR in Haiyan-Affected Areas held at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria. This activity was conducted in partnership with Save the Children.


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Policy forum on Strengthening the Environmental Impact Statement System in the Philippines. This is an activity in partnership with Interface Development Interventions and Ateneo Human Rights Center.


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Taken during the Congress hearing of the proposed bills banning the practice of aerial spraying of pesticides wherein SALIGAN acted as speaker for Interface Development Interventions (IDIS). IDIS is a Davao-based NGO lobbying for the banning of aerial spraying.


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Consultation of children identified by local partner civil society organizations in the municipality of Dulag, Leyte. This is an activity conducted in partnership with

Save the Children.

5. Publication


SALIGAN published the following primers, manual and other popular materials:


  • Primer on Katarungnag Pambarangay Law (Tagalog Version)
  • BPO Safeguards the Barangay Against VAW: A primer on the establishment of VAW Desk in the barangay
  • Kasambahay Law (Republic Act No. 10361) Q & A Praymer
  • Labor Case Digest were published.
  • Revised Manual ng Batas ng Manggagawa was published
  • Mga Batas sa Paggamit at Pagmamayari ng Lupa sa Pilipinas: Isang Manwal (CRS)


VI. Engagement/Participation in Local Government Special Bodies, Councils, Boards and other Task Forces:

  • Quezon City Migrants Development Council (QC MDC)
  • Quezon City Development Council (QC CDC)
  • City Development Council of Naga City
  • Local Poverty Reduction Action Team (LPRAT) Elected as Co-Chairperson of LPRAT of Naga City
  • Naga City Urban Development and Housing Board (NCUDHB)
  • Naga City Council for Women (NCCW)
  • Naga City People’s Council (NCPC)


VII. Partners

  • ALG
  • PMPI
  • PHILSSA
  • Save the Children
  • Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
  • PMPI-DRC
  • Mindanao Peace Weavers
  • Coalition for Bicol Development (CBD)
  • Bantay Familia Inc.
  • Educo, Inc.
  • Camsurnet


VIII. Personnel


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In 2014, SALIGAN were composed thirteen (13) personnel, eight (8) of which are legal staff and five (5) were part of admin staff. While in 2015, twelve personnel implemented the programs and activities in its offices in Quezon City, Naga City and Davao City.


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RECLAIMING THE TRANSPORT WORKERS' RIGHTS AND PROTECTING THE GAINS OF TRANSPORT UNIONISM



A Position Paper on D.O. No. 118-12, Rules and Regulations Governing the Employment and Working Conditions of Drivers and Conductors in the Public Utility Bus Transport Industry


Department Order No. 118-12 addresses the many problems faced by workers in the public utility bus transport industry. In a time when bus companies sacrifice the rights and welfare of bus drivers and conductors in order to increase corporate profits, the DOLE has asserted its authority to protect the rights of workers and secure for them benefits that they have long struggled for. In the experience of the Yellow Bus Lines Employees Union (YBLEU), the exclusive bargaining representative of the regular rank-and-file employees, including bus drivers and conductors, of Yellow Bus Lines, Inc, based in Koronadal, South Cotabato, these gains come in the form of their own collective bargaining agreements (CBA) negotiated with the management. With the issuance of the said Order, transport workers need not undergo the same amount of struggle faced by YBLEU leaders and members, but would benefit for what we have fought for.



Read more...
 

SALIGAN statement on D.O. 174-17


On 16 March 2017, Secretary Bello issued Department Order No. 174-17, the long-awaited order governing contractualization. Said order was touted as the fulfillment of President Duterte’s campaign promise to end “ENDO”. Article 106 of the Labor Code grants the Secretary of Labor and Employment the discretion whether to restrict or prohibit contracting out of labor. It is unfortunate though that given this singular chance to stop contractualization, Secretary Bello instead chose to promote and further institutionalize this nefarious practice to the detriment of workers who only long for security of tenure in their workplaces.


Apart from cosmetic changes in increasing the registration fee to Php 100,000.00 and the capitalization of contractors from 3 million to 5 million pesos and reducing the validity of an agency’s certificate of registration from 3 to 2 years, the substance of Department Order 174-17 is almost a verbatim reproduction of Department Order No. 18-A. The definition of labor-only contracting, for instance, was the same definition lifted from the previous Department Order No. 18-A. Thus, for as long as an agency meets the capitalization requirement, the contractor/subcontractor is allowed to supply workers performing work/service that is directly related to main business of the principal employer. Section 6 of D.O. 174-17 likewise contains a similar enumeration found in Section 7 of D.O. No. 18-A which lists the prohibited forms of subcontracting. One notable addition in D.O. No. 174-17 is Section 6 (f) where “requiring contactor/subcontractor’s employees to perform functions currently being performed by regular employees of the principal” is treated as an illicit form of subcontracting. While ostensibly added to protect/promote regularization, Section 6(f) will only encourage and abet the wholesale abolition of department/section staffed by regular employees for what will prevent the employer from outsourcing the entire department/section of a particular company in order to ensure that functions performed by the subcontracted employees are no longer the same functions currently performed by regular employees.


If the goal of Department Order No. 174-17 is to bring an end to contractualization, it is doomed to fail. Said department order is simply the latest in a series of department orders (Department Order No. 10-97, Department Order No. 3-01, Department Order No. 18-02 and Department Order No. 18-A-11) that have failed to address the problem of contractualization. This only serves to underscore the point that what is truly needed is remedial legislation. Subcontracting can not be solved by department orders when the law itself is the problem. If President Duterte is truly sincere in his desire to end ‘ENDO’, passage of House Bill 55 authored by Hon. Kaka Bag-ao and Senate Bill 217 authored by Hon. Risa Hontiveros is imperative. We call upon the President to certify as urgent these bills currently pending in Congress. Pass the Security of Tenure (SOT) Law NOW!


 

SALIGAN supports the proposed Naga City’s

ORDINANCE PROMOTING POSITIVE DISCIPLINE OF CHILDREN[1]


The right of the child against cruel and inhumane punishment is not subordinate to the right of parents to discipline their children.


SALIGAN[2], in its mission towards the protection and empowerment of the vulnerable members of the society, supports and calls for the passage of the proposed ordinance Promoting Positive and Non-Violent Forms of Discipline of Children and Prohibiting Corporal Punishment and All Forms of Degrading and Humiliating Punishment on Children.


The proposed ordinance fulfills the Philippines’ international obligations and adheres to the Philippine Constitution.


The UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child[3] provides that the best interest of the child shall be the paramount consideration in the enactment of laws that would enable the child to enjoy special protection[4], including protection from all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation[5].

Read more...
 
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