Budget request hinges on increase in VAT
MANILA, Philippines - Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona on Monday said he will push for an increase in the Supreme Court budget to alleviate the plight of judges and court employees, as well as to improve court facilities across the nation.
Corona explained that less than 1% -- only 0.84% -- of the national budget, goes to the judiciary, one of the three branches of government.
He admitted that a budget increase would face an uphill battle, but hopes that, if an increase in the value-added tax (VAT) is implemented, the judiciary will have a decent portion in the pie.
At present, he said the judiciary's current budget will be allotted for the reconstitution of court documents that were damaged by tropical storm Ondoy -- a problem in many courts that were flooded.
The current budget will also go to the replacement of damaged court rooms and office equipment, as well as the improvement of court houses.
For 2009 the Supreme Court was only given a budget of P11 billion.
Extend scope, responsibility of court administrator
Corona also vowed to expand the scope and responsibility of the court administrator, to expedite the administration of justice especially towards fellow members of the judiciary.
SC spokesperson & concurrent Court Administrator Midas Marquez confirmed that Corona wants him, as the court administrator, to immediately act on administrative cases versus judges, instead of having it pass through the High Court.
This will be proposed to the Supreme Court's Rules Committee.
Marquez explained this will speed up the resolution of cases against judges, and will also shield them from harassment cases by disgruntled litigants, since law suits against them that may not have merit or enough evidence could be immediately dismissed. With a report from Timi Nubla, ABS-CBN News