MANILA — Following the Supreme Court’s (SC) ruling that some parts of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) are unconstitutional, the Judicial Development Fund (JDF) of the Judiciary is now the target of some critics.
However, according to SC Public Information Office (PIO) Chief and Spokesman Atty. Theodore O. Te, the manner of disbursement of the JDF Funds is not discretionary.
Te said that in short, the JDF of the Judiciary cannot be considered as “pork barrel”.
Te made the remarks on Friday after three lawmakers, namely Congressmen Rodolfo Albano III, Ben Evardone and Rodolfo Farinas signified their intention to scrutinize the JDF as well as the proposed 2015 budget of the Judiciary once the deliberation for the proposed 2015 national budget starts.
The JDF is a special purpose fund created in 1984 under Presidential Decree No. 1949 for the benefit of the members and employees of the Judiciary so that the independence of the said branch of government will be preserved.
The fund is generated from the legal fees filed in the courts.
Under the said law, 80 percent of the fund will be used for the cost of living allowances (COLAs) of the members of the Judiciary, while 20 percent will be allotted for office equipment and court facilities.