Thursday, September 8, 2011

Treaties online

PIL and other international law and relations students rejoice! We won’t have to scour the internet looking for obscure treaties and other international documents. The Department of Foreign Affairs has come to our rescue! The DFA recently announced and launched its Philippine Treaties Online project, making 1600 treaties that the Philippines has entered into available online for our research/educational/viewing pleasure. According to the DFA, among the expected beneficiaries of the project include students (academic and research purposes), investors and businessmen (by making available records on trade agreements, investment protection, etc), and even simple farmers and fisherfolk (by giving information on foreign technical and development assistance).

Aside from the basic goal of providing information and education, it also helps in making governance more transparent and accountable. The website is simple and fairly easy to use, which is an advantage if people are to be encouraged to use it. The site is really helpful in terms of access (i.e. you can search for the specific treaty/agreement/document), but I think there is still a problem in terms of the practical “reaching out” to the people (especially when the DFA said that those in the countryside could be benefited by this), considering that the documents are written in English and most are wrapped in legalese (this not even taking into account the issue of computer or internet access in the countryside). But still, it cannot be denied that this is another crucial step in the movement towards e-governance.

*special thanks to my commarb prof for the heads up!


Krystel Jehan M. Bautista, entry no. 12

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