Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta on Monday inaugurated the Judiciary Public Assistance Section, also known as the “Judiciary Help Desk” at the Training Center, Supreme Court Centennial Building in Manila.
Peralta led the ribbon-cutting during the launch of the JPAS or the Judiciary Help Desk, which is the brainchild of the top magistrate. The JPAS will serve as the “official line of communication between the judiciary, its stakeholders and the general public.
Besides Peralta, also present during the launching of the JPAS were Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen, Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo M. Cabotaje-Tang, Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez, Court of Appeals Acting Presiding Justice Remedios A. Salazar-Fernando, and CA Associate Justice Fernanda C. Lampas-Peralta, and Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa.
“In the exigency of service and in order to address the needs of the general public, it is important to have an official line of communication between the Judiciary, its stakeholders, and the general public to give attention to requests for assistance and information, queries, and concerns,” Peralta said in his speech.
The JPAS is under the direct control and supervision of the Office of the Chief Justice and is composed of three units: The Helpdesk Unit, The Hotline Unit, and the Email Messaging Unit. The Helpdesk Unit is at the Ground Floor of the SC Centennial Building.
The hotline unit with telephone numbers (02) 8552-6185 for the OCJ and (02) 8552-9644 and (02) 8552-9646 for the Helpdesk Unit, is at the OCJ with personnel working hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays, except holidays.
The Email Messaging Unit which may be reached via the email address [email protected]
, is also located at the OCJ with personnel working on the same days and hours.
Peralta said the JPAS would act on all queries and complaints within 15 days.
Peralta emphasized the importance of responding to inquiries and concerns from various Judiciary stakeholders and the general public and treating with confidentiality all complaints against judges and members of the Judiciary.
“All queries must be answered within 15 days of the receipt of the inquiries, except of course those that will be referred to me—complaints against judges or members of the Judiciary. I will have to study them thoroughly, but I will maintain strict confidentiality of all these reports that I will be receiving even from anonymous callers, or even an anonymous complaint, or even just a simple message transmitted to me. I will treat them with strict confidentiality,” the Chief Justice assured.
As the official line of communication between the judiciary, its stakeholders, and the general public, the JPAS is the realization of one of the components of the Chief Justice’s 10-Point Program.
The functions of the JPAS, among others, are to manage effectively, efficiently and innovatively all public assistance concerns of the general public; manage the day-to-day operations of the various designated units of the JPAS; provide assistance and information, as well as address queries from various Judiciary stakeholders and the general public; and manage all concerns, activities and alike in all judiciary-designated public assistance facilities and mediums.