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A House committee campaigns for improved access to Sharia courts
Tuesday, a subcommittee of the House of Representatives passed a bill granting Muslim Filipinos better access to Shari’a courts while they are away.
The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Act of 2009 would be amended by House Bill 5045, which was approved by the House Committee on Muslim Affairs under the leadership of Lanao del Norte Representative Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo.
The bill’s author, Dimaporo, explained that its goal is to provide the NCMF the authority to assist Muslim Filipinos living outside of Mindanao in gaining access to Shari’a courts.
Many Muslim Filipinos frequently face difficulties getting access to Shari’a courts, according to Dimaporo. By enabling and empowering the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos to operate as a service provider for and on behalf of Muslim Filipinos to file and receive routine documents to the Shari’a Courts, this legislative legislation tries to address the current situation.
In order to meet the expanding number of Muslim communities across the nation, Dimaporo highlighted that recent immigration, inter-marriages, and Balik-Islam increased the number of Muslim Filipinos outside of Mindanao. As a result, Shari’a courts had to be established.
Muslim Filipinos outside of Mindanao “had to spend extra only to submit entries on the Civil Registry lodged inside the office of the Clerk of Court of the Shari’a courts in Mindanao because there are no Shari’a courts in their region,” he said.
According to the bill, it is the responsibility of the NCMF’s Bureau of Legal Affairs to make sure that Muslim Filipinos who do not have access to Shari’a courts in their area can file the necessary paperwork about the Shari’a courts’ unique authority.
All Filipinos will have fair access to Shari’a courts according to the bureau’s mission.
Raul Villanueva, the court administrator, provided a second paragraph on the provision regarding the digital transformation of Shari’a court services for the committee’s consideration.
According to the paragraph, any information or data obtained by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and NCMF through a digital platform that allows paperless documents like birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, and the like should be treated with confidentiality and adhere to the right to privacy of parties concerned.
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