MANILA – In the proposed 2016 national budget, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III allotted P26.7 billion to the Judiciary to ‘enable our judicial system to deliver equal justice for all.’
“By augmenting its resources, the Judiciary stands a better chance of reducing the case backlog of its courts and fast-track the resolution of cases,” Aquino said in his budget message.
“Part of this budget is P2.3 billion to cover all operating expenditures of lower courts to enhance their independence and reduce their dependence on local governments,” he added.
Moreover, the President also put forward the transfer of the Supreme Court to the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig. Should this be approved, P1.2 billion would be allocated for its land acquisition.
“We have also committed P3.29 billion over four years for the construction of the new Supreme Court building, of which P122.7 million has been set aside in the 2016 budget to fund the detailed architectural and engineering design and project management needs of the project,” Aquino said.
Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, for her part, earlier disclosed that the Supreme Court eyed a 21,000-square-meter-lot in BGC.
Should the proposed Judiciary budget be accepted by the Congess, next year’s budget would be 22 percent more than this year’s budget of only P12 billion.
Aquino and the Judiciary earlier had a falling out with the former’s proposal to have the Judicial Development Fund (JDF) be remitted to the national treasury and the latter’s declaration that the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) was unconstitutional.
The President then criticized the Supreme Court ruling for obstructing his economic programs supposedly intended to help poor Filipinos.
Several Supreme Court employees, on the other hand, slammed at the President for ‘rampaging’ the JDF which they claimed were substantial help to rank-and-file workers.
But with Aquino’s raise in the Judiciary’s 2016 budget, all seemed well from both sides now.