The Senate has approved on third and final reading a bill establishing 44 new Regional Trial Courts, five Metropolitan Trial Courts, 15 Municipal Trial Courts in Cities and three Municipal Trail Courts.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, chairman of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, said the creation of additional courts across the country aimed to unclog the bulk of cases currently pending in the courts.
Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said the measure was part of the Senate’s efforts to speed up the dispensation of the law everywhere in the nation.
“We are taking all initiatives to ensure that the wheels of justice is turning at a diligent pace for every Filipino, across every province, and across every city,” Drilon said.
Pimentel agreed that “no Filipino should be denied justice because of delay in the disposition of his case.”
He said he foresaw an increase in the number of legal conflicts as the country advances in development and economic activities.
“While the members of our judiciary are some of the most brilliant, professional, and diligent luminaries in the legal community, the sheer number of cases that are filed in our courts makes it almost an insurmountable task to dispose of the same in a timely and orderly manner,” he said.
He cited the Pasay City Regional Trial Court as an example, which he said had a combined caseload of 7,329 in 13 branches as of June 2014. The figure, he said, equated to an average caseload of 565 cases per branch and exceeded the manageable caseload of 300 for second level courts.
He said that it was “regrettable how all courts nationwide were in the same bind as those in Pasay City.”
Pimentel said the establishment of additional courts took into consideration not only the present case volume of existing branches but also the geographical situation of these areas to “make justice more accessible to the people.”
To be created are three Regional Trial Courts in the cities of Alaminos, Dagupan and San Carlos, Pangasinan; five Regional Trial Courts and five Metropolitan Trial Courts in Pasay City; one Regional Trial Court in San Jose, Nueva Ecija; one Regional Trial Court in the Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija; one Regional Trial Court in Initao, Misamis Oriental; one Regional Trial Court Meycauayan, Bulacan; two Municipal Trial Courts in the cities and two Regional Trial Courts in Baguio, two additional Municipal Trial Courts in Cities for Angeles, one Municipal Trial Court in for Malagalng and one Municipal Trial Court in Cities for the city of Mabalacat, all in Pampanga; one Regional Trial Court in Sorsogon, one Regional Trial Court in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental; 19 Regional Trial Courts in Quezon City; five Regional Trial Courts in Parañaque City; one Regional Trial Court in Vigan, Ilocos Sur; three Regional Trial Courts in Bacolod, Negros Occidental and one Regional Trial Court in San Jose, Del Monte, Bulacan.
The proposed bill would also convert the existing 5th Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Carmona-Gen. Mariano Alvarez, Cavite into a Municipal Trial Court and creating a new Municipal Trail Court in the same municipality.#