MANILA, Philippines — When it opens later this month, four new metropolitan trial courts (MeTCs), stationed in the northern part of Caloocan City, are expected to relieve the clogged dockets of other MeTCs stationed about 15 kilometers south of the city proper.
The four new MeTCs will hold offices and sessions at the North Caloocan Hall of Justice located along Congressional Road, Barangay 173, North Caloocan, which was opened last week by officials from the local government and the judiciary. The courts are expected to be fully set up and working by the end of the month.
Once the four new MeTC branches become operational later this month, they will help ease the caseload burden of the five original MeTC branches, according to Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez, who graced last week’s event.
“The creation of the four additional branches stationed in North Caloocan is in line with the Supreme Court’s program of bringing courts closer to people. Before their creation, our five courts stationed in the Caloocan City proper had caseloads ranging from 700 to 1,200. The manageable caseload is only 500. Obviously, with these caseloads, the MeTCs of Caloocan were overloaded,” Marquez said.
He said the courts would hopefully bring the justice system closer to the people, with most of the cases handled by the MeTCs coming from Caloocan North.
“These courts in the north of Caloocan City is also a step in the right direction as statistics show that 85 percent of cases in Caloocan come in the northern part, due perhaps to the high rate of migration towards the northern portion of the city,” Marquez said.
Caloocan First District Rep. Oscar Malapitan, who pushed the law for the creation of the four new courts, and also negotiated funds from the national government and space for the new courts, expressed hope for the setting up of new regional trial courts in Caloocan North too.
“The city government did not provide a single centavo for these courts. Hopefully before the end of the 15th Congress, we could see legislation providing additional regional trial courts in Caloocan North. If that will be approved, and we are given the chance to work in another position, we will see the construction of these courts,” he said.
Malapitan, who is running for mayor, also vowed to throw his support to judges and prosecutors should he win.
“If we are already in a different office, I will fully support the judges of the metropolitan and regional trial courts, and the prosecutors as well,” he said.