Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid has filed Senate Bill No. 1751 which seeks to create the “National Legal Knowledge and Assistance System” which will serve as an online repository of different laws, rules, and regulations in the country.
The Department of Justice (DOJ), in coordination with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), will be mandated to establish and maintain the system which will be accessible throughout the country.
The system will also contain relevant treaties and international conventions wherein the Philippines is a party; common legal forms and pleadings; and definition of terms and brief explanation of legal matters in simple English, Filipino, and other vernacular languages or dialects of common legal concepts, ideas and terminologies.
“Sabi nga nila, hirap ang taong walang alam sa batas. Kaya para masiguro nating maibibigay ang karapatan ng bawat Pilipino na magkaroon ng sapat na kaalaman kaugnay sa mga batas at iba pang alituntunin na pinaiiral sa ating bansa, dapat na may bukas na panggagalingan ang mga datos na ito. Gamit ng information and communications technology o ICT, maaabot ang lahat ng ating kababayan saan mang sulok ng bansa o mundo, para may mabilis silang pagkukunan ng mga impormasyon kaugnay sa mga usaping legal,” Lapid explained.
To foster universal access and understandability, translations into Filipino and other vernacular languages or dialects will also be made available in the system. Aside from the 1987 Constitution, the system that will be created should contain the Revised Corporation Code, National Internal Revenue Code and Labor Code.
From the database, Filipinos should also be able to access readings on legal issues that our citizens usually inquire into or are concerned with such as marriage and family relations, inheritance, violence against women and children, land titles and property registration, sales, loans, and mortgages.
“Sa ngayon wala pang website na nagbibigay ng updated at libreng impormasyon kaugnay sa ating konstitusyon at mga usapang legal. Maging ang simpleng mga termino na maipaliwanag sana sa ating mga kababayan sa salitang naiintindihan nila ay malaking tulong para lahat tayo, kahit hindi abugado ay may alam sa ating mga karapatan at hindi tayo basta maloloko,” Lapid added.
The measure also proposes that the DOJ shall establish partnerships and agreements with similar government institutions such as the National Library, the Presidential Museum and Library, Senate and House of Representatives Library, the Supreme Court Library, the Office of the National Administrative Register of the UP Law Center, among others, for purposes of allowing digitalization and shared access to books, documents and resources.