August 22, 2012
Senate body to scrutinize Judiciary's 2013 expenditure plan, says Drilon
The Senate Finance Committee will examine today (Thursday) the proposed expenditures plan of the Judiciary, announced its chairman Senator Franklin M. Drilon.
"We have already achieved the most remarkable reform in our judicial system last May, and now, what we need to do is to ensure that all the reforms that our people have been wanting for our judicial system will be carried out in this proposed expenditure plan," said Drilon, referring to the impeachment of then Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.
The Judiciary will get P17.77 billion, including automatic appropriation, from P15.71 billion this year, or an increase of 13.08 percent, noted Drilon.
"The proposed 2013 budget will support the resolution of about 324,434 cases pending in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Court of Tax Appeals, as well as to address the needed developments in the Judiciary," said Drilon.
Of the proposed budget, Drilon said, P15.72 billion will go to the Supreme and Lower courts, an increase of 12.86 percent from P13.93 billion, while P1.32 billion will go to the Court of Appeals, P181.22 million higher than its present budget of P1.144 billion.
Also, P392.44 million will be for the country's anti-graft court, the Sandiganbayan, P35.18 million higher than its 2012 budget of P357.26 million; P244.33 million to the Court of Tax Appeals, P31.41 million higher than its present budget of P212.92 million; and lastly, P90.94 million will go to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, P16.42 million higher than its 2012 budget of P74.52 million.
Drilon also said his committee he will look into the allowances of the judges and justices, which the Supreme Court recently sought for its restoration.
Further, the committee will scrutinize the huge vacant positions in the Judiciary which, he added, resulted in a slow disposition of pending cases, noted Drilon.
"Our courts have a humongous collection of unheard and unresolved cases. This should be addressed if the government is reforming our justice system, and we will intervene by means of ensuring that the 2013 expenditures plan will carry enough budget to address the problem," ended Drilon.
In a related news, the committee is also set to review the proposed budget of the Office of the Vice President amounting P420.55 million, including automatic appropriation, P15.75 million higher than its 2012 budget of P404.8 million, said Drilon.
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