The National Prosecution Service (NPS) of the Philippines is the government arm tasked with the conduct of preliminary investigation and prosecution of all cases involving violation of penal laws in the country. It is an office under the Department of Justice (DOJ), the principal law agency of the government, and is directly under the supervision of the Secretary of Justice.
As one of the five pillars of the Philippine criminal justice system, the NPS performs a vital role in creating a deterrence to criminality, and in the adjudication of rights amongst individuals. Thus, its mandate as an office under the DOJ does not only impact on the state of the rule of law, but also on the overall peace and order situation in the country.
It is, therefore, essential that the NPS be composed of skilled, well-trained and competent individuals across its entire hierarchy - from the senior officials who formulate and implement office policies, to the field prosecutors who investigate crimes and prosecute cases, down to the prosecution staff who render valuable support to the entire organization.
Consistent with the goal of providing “a venue for training and the enhancement of the competence of our prosecutors and of the components of the other agencies and units under the DOJ” through the realization of a proposed “Department of Justice Academy,” as verbalized by the DOJ Secretary in his State of the DOJ Address in 2016, the design and development of a responsive training curriculum for prosecutors and the prosecution staff is foreseen to further contribute to the increased efficiency of the NPS and the enhancement and professionalism of the service as a whole.
The process of curriculum design and development will involve consultations and information exchanges between the NPS and the other four pillars of the criminal justice system -- law enforcement, judiciary, corrections and the community -- and thereby help the NPS benefit from the experiences of the Philippine judiciary and the country’s law enforcement agencies - the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which are equipped with their respective academies, enhance the working relationship amongst them and help NPS better work towards formulating its learning and development program, institutionalizing a training structure in the service and, eventually, establishing its training institution.
At the same time, dialogue meetings between prosecutors and police officers will be held to further enhance and strengthen coordination and collaboration between these two pillars of the criminal justice system and contribute to the reinforcement of the rule of law.