MANILA, Philippines—Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has expressed confidence that the executive and the legislative branches of government will not hesitate to support the judiciary.
In her speech Monday, Sereno said she has already started talks with the Department of Budget and Management to discuss the judiciary’s budget.
President Benigno Aquino III through the DBM has removed the special allowances of justices and judges at the same time wants billions of court fees being collected by the courts be turned over to the national treasury as part of the government’s general fund.
The proposal is contained in the DBM’s 2013 National Expenditure Program under the General Appropriations Act Special Provision #1 of the judiciary.
The Judiciary is also fighting for an increase in its budget. Out of the P2.006 trillion proposed budget for next year, the judiciary is asking for P17.7 billion.
“I’m asking for time and understanding as I have already started opening the communication lines between the judiciary and the DBM,” Sereno said.
She said the talks appear to be fruitful.
Even during weekends, Sereno said she and the high court’s finance officials are working to check the judiciary’s financial status.
“So, may I ask for your prayers for the success of our talks with the budget department?” Sereno asked.