FIELDS OF DEVELOPMENT
Given the coalition’s experience for more than two decades, the ALG has developed and nurtured a vast network of partners both in civil society (with NGOs and grassroots people’s organizations, and with academic institutions, especially the law schools), and in government (with the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice, the Commission on Human Rights, other National Government Agencies [NGAs], the police and the military, local government officials, and the legal and judicial community). The coalition has the unique ability of linking basic sectors, and vulnerable groups, from the demand side of the justice system, with the enforcers and administrators of the justice system. With its past and current partnerships with government agencies and civil society groups, the ALG is in a strategic position to forge a multi-stakeholder network and cooperation mechanism, and is able to catalyse the coordination and cooperation of various groups.
The coalition is part of various thematic advocacy networks, such as the Juvenile Justice Network (which campaigned for the passage of the Juvenile Justice Law), and the CLUP Now network (which campaigns for the passage of the National Land Use Act), among others. The ALG also actively works with networks such as the Alyansa Tigil Mina (which campaigns for the repeal of the Mining Act) and the broad network involved in the successful campaign for the passage of the Reproductive Health Law.
The ALG is a founding member of the Supreme Court Appointments Watch Consortium (SCAW), a group of civil society organizations that focuses on the appointments process for the Chief Justice and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. In 2005, with the retirement of then Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. imminent, the Alternative Law Groups, Association of Law Students of the Philippines, Libertas, the Philippine Association of Law Schools and the Transparency and Accountability Network came together to undertake an appointments watch project to monitor, evaluate, bring public and media attention to, and make recommendations on the appointments process for the next chief justice. SCAW continued its work in late 2006, pushing for and supporting increased transparency and accountability in the appointment process leading to the scheduled retirement of Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, in 2009, focusing on the vacancies created with the retirements of seven (7) justices of the Supreme Court, and in 2012, for the replacement of impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona.
The recognition of the coalition’s track record is manifested in two recent developments. The coalition now sits as a civil society member in the Rule of Law Working Group of the Philippine Development Forum, a group that in the past included only government offices and donor agencies. The coalition’s National Coordinator recently served as the Sectoral Representative of NGOs in the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), and had been elected as the Commission’s Vice-Chairperson for the Basic Sectors (October 2011 - January 2015). NAPC is a government commission that was created pursuant to the Social Reform and Poverty Alleviation Act (R.A. 8425). With the President of the Philippines as Chairperson, NAPC has a multi-agency and multi-sectoral membership composed of heads of major departments of the national government, representatives of local governments, and representatives of fourteen (14) basic sectors (farmers and rural land workers, artisanal fisherfolk, formal labor and migrant workers, workers in the informal sector, indigenous peoples, urban poor, persons with disabilities, children, women, youth, senior citizens, cooperatives, victims of disasters, and non-government organizations).
The ALG also maintains regional and international links. The ALG was part of a Philippine group of government agencies and CSOs engaged in access to justice programs that formed the organizing committee of the first activities of what became known as the Asian Consortium on Human Rights-Based Access to Justice. The consortium is an informal network of government and non-government institutions in Asia, including organizations that are based outside Asia but with programs in the region, bound by their common engagement in and shared commitment to development work that is centered on the promotion of human rights and effective justice especially for the poor and marginalized. The ALG sits in the Steering Committee of the consortium.
The ALG is also part of the Global Network for Legal Empowerment, an international community of grassroots legal advocates, who are committed to advancing justice, learning from each other, and collaborating on joint initiatives across borders. The ALG National Coordinator sits in the Network Guidance Committee of the Global Network.