Supreme Court bans single-use plastics in its offices

Robie de Guzman   •   March 2, 2020   •   446

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday announced it has implemented an “outright ban” on single-use plastics in its offices in line with efforts to promote sustainability.

In a Memorandum dated February 28, the Supreme Court said it is adopting the solid waste avoidance and waste management strategy of the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), an attached agency of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The NSWMC last week approved a Resolution No. 1363 banning “unnecessary” single-use plastics, covering national government agencies, local government units, and other government controlled-offices.

The resolution directs the DENR to “prepare and implement” the ban on single-use plastic products, including cups less than 0.2 millimeter in thickness, drinking straws, coffee stirrers, spoons, forks, and knives.

The ban also covers “labo” or thin and translucent plastic bags, and thin-filmed sando bags lower than 15 microns.

The commission said the move is seen as a major step to curb the use of single-use plastic items that “pollute our waterways, kill marine life and contribute to our country’s increasing solid waste.”

“This directive is consistent with the Court’s efforts towards sustainability,” the high court said in a statement.

The SC also revealed that in October 2019, it has presented a construction project of the Manila Hall of Justice (MHOJ), which is certified as the first green courthouse in the Philippines.

The project, which will feature three environment-friendly and green-certified interconnected buildings, is set to be completed by 2022.

Family rescues bear swimming with plastic tub stuck on its head in Wisconsin

UNTV News   •   July 1, 2020

A family out fishing spotted a bear swimming with a plastic tub stuck on its head and came to its rescue on Marsh-Miller Lake, Wisconsin on Saturday (June 27).

Video shared on social media shows the family on a boat approaching the bear, removing a container from its head and watching the bear swim away from the boat.

The bear safely reached the shore afterwards, according to a description associated with the video.

“Bear made it to the shore and collapsed from exhaustion,” Tricia Hurt, who filmed the rescue from the boat, told Reuters in a message on social media. (Reuters)

(Production: Natalia Oriol)

Supreme Court to take up ABS-CBN plea vs NTC order on July 13

Robie de Guzman   •   June 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court will tackle next month the petition of ABS-CBN Corporation against the cease and desist order of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) which halted the network’s broadcast operations last May 5.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said they will discuss the ABS-CBN’s petition on July 13.

Peralta said the high court had to wait for comments from all parties mentioned in the petition before conducting deliberations on the plea.

“We waited for the comments of the House of Representatives, the lower house and the upper house and I think we only received the comments last Friday or last Monday,” he said during an online press conference on Thursday.

ABS-CBN went off the air on May 5, just hours after the NTC issued its order directing the media network to halt its television and radio broadcast operations due to expired franchise. The company’s franchise ended on May 4.

The media giant then filed a petition, urging the Supreme Court to issue a temporary restraining order against the NTC’s closure order.

In its petition, the media company argued that the NTC acted with grave abuse of discretion and violated its rights to equal protection and due process by issuing the order.

The company claimed that the NTC should have deferred to Congress that have earlier sent a formal letter asking the agency to allow ABS-CBN to continue operating while bills seeking for its franchise renewal remain pending in the House of Representatives.

ABS-CBN also pointed out the loss of revenues on the part of the company and the government in terms of taxes, as well as the welfare of its 11,000 employees due to the stoppage of its operations.

Application for SC, Court of Appeals posts now open – JBC

Robie de Guzman   •   May 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has announced the opening of applications or recommendations for positions at the Supreme Court (SC) and the Court of Appeals (CA).

In an announcement posted on SC Public Information Office’s Twitter account, the JBC said applicants who will be selected in the process will occupy the position to be vacated by SC Associate Justice Jose Reyes Jr., who will retire on September 18, and former CA Presiding Justice Romeo Barza, who retired on August 2, 2019.

In its advisory, the JBC said interested applications must visit its official website, and access the online application scheduler.

After filling out the computer-generated letter of intent, they must submit it along with the documentary requirements to this JBC e-mail on the selected date and time of appointment in the online application scheduler.

The JBC emphasized that the digitized versions of the letter of intent they will submit must be “complete” and “accurate.”

“The documentary requirements should be in Portable Document Format (PDF) and e-mailed in a single file only, following the order of documents as enumerated in the Announcement posted on the JBC website,” it said.

“The date of actual receipt of the complete documentary requirements (sent through e-mail) shall be deemed as the date of filing,” it added.

The JBC further said that applicants are also required to submit two complete sets of the documentary requirements through courier service not later than 4:30 p.m. of July 7, 2020 to its office along Padre Faura Street in Manila.

It warned that applicants who will fail to comply with the requirements of online and physical submission of the documentary requirements will not be considered for nomination.

The JBC likewise announced it has set on May 28 at 10 a.m. an online public interview of candidates for the SC Associate Justice position vacated by former Associate Justice Andres Reyes Jr., who compulsorily retired on May 11, 2020.

The candidates are as follows:

  • Ramon Bato Jr.
  • Priscilla Baltazar-Padilla
  • Edwin Sorongon
  • Nina Antonio-Valenzuela

The JBC said that the following are also candidates for the said judicial position, but whose previous interviews are still valid:

  • Manuel Barrios
  • Amparo Cabotaje-Tang
  • Ramon Cruz
  • Japar Dimaampao
  • Jhosep Lopez
  • Jose Midas Marquez
  • Eduardo Peralta Jr.
  • Pablito Perez
  • Rizardo Rosario

The JBC is a constitutional office that accepts, screens, and nominates appointments to the judiciary.

It will then submit a list of nominees to President Rodrigo Duterte for selection, and whoever is appointed will complete the membership in the SC composed of 15 justices.

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