In the Philippines, the Supreme Court has approved an administrative policy making easier for stateless individuals seeking asylum in the island nation to acquire Philippine citizenship, including orphan children and their legal guardians.
The high court approved The Rule on Facilitated Naturalization of Refugees and Stateless Persons in its weekly session
In a statement on Wednesday, the 15 member tribunal wrote that the new rule is the their contribution to ensure refugees and stateless persons have full access to rights through improved policy, and a reformed legal and operational framework.
It also wrote that the new policy was a fulfillment of their goal to provide judicial reforms and streamlined court rulings in order to provide an affordable and effective means of attaining justice — in an efficient, fair and speedy manner.
The new ruling will allow asylum seekers who wish to obtain Filipino citizenship to apply online through the high court’s website, or through the website of a local newspaper or the state owned journal Official Gazette.
In the Philippines, petitions for naturalization are traditionally required to be published in at least two newspapers at a cost of thousands of pesos.
The new ruling, which allows for electronic publication in an online journal, would reduce both the costs and time it takes for the country’s most vulnerable people to obtain Filipino citizenship.
The court added that a technology-driven judiciary is capable of providing equal access to justice in real-time.
Inquirer | Peleg Cohen