MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday announced the successful field testing of its mobile "videoconferencing" court bus in Mindanao eyed to bring legal services in remote far-flung areas.
In a statement, the court said the videoconferencing bus program under Associate Justice Amy C. Lazaro-Javier completed pilot testing last week in Barangay Basak, Magpet, Province of Cotabato, some 30 kilometers north of the nearest court in Kidapawan.
The bus is fully equipped with videoconferencing devices and wireless connectivity, as well as technicians to ensure a seamless proceeding and provide internet access to remote areas to accommodate witnesses. It is eyed to bring the courts closer to the underserved and extend the benefits of videoconferencing to facilitate the taking of testimony of witnesses in remote areas and those unable to leave their homes to travel to the courts.
The videoconferencing bus is a reconfiguration of the mobile court bus under the Court’s Enhance Justice on Wheels (EJOW) Program.
The EJOW bus originally featured mobile court hearings, court-annexed mediation, and provision of free legal, medical, and dental aid to inmates nationwide.
Justice Lazaro-Javier noted that having the witnesses testify in the comfort of the bus allows them to be more at ease and more forthright with their testimonies. (PNA)