Judiciary gets House committee nod for P55-B budget

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 28 2019 10:39 PM | Updated as of Aug 28 2019 10:57 PM

MANILA - The judiciary's P55-billion budget proposal was approved Wednesday by a House committee even before the representatives of the Supreme Court were able to finish their presentation. 

In less than an hour of deliberations, the House Committee on Appropriations terminated the hearing on the proposed budget of the judiciary for 2020 and approved it.

The hearing, presided by Compostela Valley Rep. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga, focused on the proposed appropriations.

The judiciary pitched to the House panel a budget of P55.66 billion for 2020, a P16.95-billion increase from the P38.71-billion allocation approved by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in the 2020 National Expenditure Program for the legal system.

Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said under the budget approved by the DBM, the Supreme Court (SC) and Philippine lower courts (PLC) shall take the lion's share of funding with P34.39 billion. 

The DBM allocated P135.75 million to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), P2.89 billion to the Court of Appeals (CA), P809.71 million to the Sandiganbayan (SB), and P481.26 million to the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA).

However, the judiciary-proposed budget raised these allocations. About P46.98 billion will be given to the SCPLC, P155.49 million to the PET, P6.23 billion to the CA, P1.6 billion to SB, and P690.2 million to CTA.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and House Deputy Speaker Henry Oaminal moved for the termination of the hearing after there were no objections. 

“It has been a tradition, we do not question the judiciary. I would move that we terminate without prejudice to augmentation,” Rodriguez said. 

Atty. Bryan Hosaka, Supreme Court spokesperson, said they are happy with the swift approval. 

The committee will submit the proposed budget to the plenary. - Isay Reyes, ABS-CBN News