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The Supreme Court Going Paperless

The Philippine Supreme Court is starting the road towards saving trees.

The "Efficient Use of Paper Rule" starts with statistics in its first "Whereas" clause:

"...to produce 500 reams of paper, twenty trees are cut and 100,000  liters  of  water  are  used,  water  that  is  no  longer  reusable because  it  is  laden  with  chemicals  and  is  just  released  to  the environment to poison our rivers and seas;"

So the goal of making paper use more efficient has been addressed by defining page margins, line spacing, font size, number of copies to be submitted, etc. on all pleadings, motions and other similar papers.  It also limits the number of copies and sets of annexes required to be submitted to Collegiate bodies such as Itself -- hence, only 1 original and 4 copies when submitted to the SC unless the case has been referred En Banc.  Only 2 sets of annexes are to be submitted so Justices will have to share if they are to read the annexes.

The Rule also provides for voluntary submission of digital soft-copies in PDF format in preparation for a more paperless archiving in the near future.

May we all, whether government, business, or non-profit orgs, follow suit as more technologies like tablet PCs and ebook readers continue to drive us toward lesser dependence on paper.

This measure will save our trees, but on second thought isn't this going to drive greater use of other resources such as batteries, electricity and plastic or metal based devices?  Well, I guess we can't win them all at the same time.  Hopefully the development of energy efficient microprocessors would run as fast as our battery packs are drained or greater advances in battery technologies arrive.  How can we not love Information Technology at this day and age? :-)

In the meantime, let us applaud our Supreme Court for this new step.


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