The Regional Development Council (RDC) approved the recommendation to include the construction of a P300-million hall of justice in Bohol in the Central Visayas Regional Development Investment Program for 2017-2022.
The RDC also assured to endorse its funding to the Department of Justice, Supreme Court, and the Department of Public Works and Highways.
The new Hall of Justice will replace the existing Hall of Justice in Tagbilaran City that is not only congested but has also incurred physical damage during the 2013 earthquake.
The provincial government earlier proposed for the construction of a new hall of justice building in Tagbilaran City since the structural integrity of the existing Bohol Hall of Justice building had been affected by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in 2013, thereby posing danger to its occupants and the public.
The existing building accommodates the Regional Trial Court Branches 1,2,3,4, RTC multiple sala, Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Branches 1 and 2, Provincial and City Prosecutor’s Office, Public Attorney’s Office, and the Office of the Parole and Probation Administration.
In its evaluation report, the Provincial Development Council (PDC) also noted that other RTC branches that could not be accommodated in the existing building are leasing spaces in other buildings which are paid by the provincial government.
Other concerns in the present Hall of Justice building are its poor ventilation; limited space for Court social workers; absence of a power generator; and limited parking space for judges, lawyers, staff, and the public.
The components of the project include the project study and detailed engineering design, land development, and construction of the new Bohol Hall of Justice building will with a total floor area of 7,429.25 square meters.
The building will be constructed in a 3,000-square-meter lot in Tagbilaran City which will be donated by the lot owner.
The proposed project aims to facilitate the administration of justice by providing a safe and conducive working environment for the government office staff and its clients.
It also supports the Regional Development Program strategy of ensuring prompt and impartial disposition and resolution of cases.
Upon evaluation, the RDC found that the proposed new Bohol Hall of Justice meets the RDIP criteria.
During the Development Administration Committee (DAC) meeting on June 6, the DAC recommended that the RDC approve the project’s inclusion for funding by the DOJ, Supreme Court, and DPWH.
The proponent has also defined the responsibilities and duties of agencies and other entities that will be involved in the project such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau, and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Bohol.
The provincial government also commits to acquire the required environmental clearance prior to the construction of the project.
The PDC has endorsed the construction of a new Hall of Justice through PDC Execom Resolution 31-2017.
The PDC also assured that the project will not cause displacement of properties as it would be built in a vacant lot.
The provincial government submitted to the RDC secretariat, a project profile on the construction of a new Hall of Justice in Bohol and the endorsement from the PDC.