Judges, clerks of court to get P5,000 communications allowance
MANILA, Philippines – Judges and clerks of court of trial courts shall be given a communications allowance of P5,000 a month, Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said in a circular dated April 16, 2021.
“Upon approval of Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo on 13, April 2021, all judges and clerks of court of the Office of the Clerk of Court of the first and second level courts shall be granted a monthly communications allowance in the amount of Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000) beginning 1 May 2021 for their respective procurement of internet service, without the need of liquidation,” read the Office of the Court Administrator Circular 49-2021 signed by Marquez.
The grant of the allowance was in line with the high court’s January 2021 guideline on the conduct of video conferencing.
“The Judges and the Clerks of Court of the Office of the Clerk of Court shall ensure that the internet service procured has sufficient bandwidth to enable them to conduct video conferencing hearings and electronically receive and transmit court documents,” the circular further stated.
In order to keep court officials and personnel from being infected with COVID-19 while at the same time ensuring that justice will continue to be served, the high court turned to videoconferencing last year.
From May 5, 2020, to April 9, 2021, a total of 234,540 video conferencing hearings were conducted. The success rate was 87.75 percent.
Atty. Brian Keith Hosaka, public information chief of the High Court, said that the other 12.25 percent were unsuccessful because of technical and internet connection problems.
Marquez, meanwhile said a total of 53,297 of 137, 645 persons deprived of liberty were released as a result of the video conferencing hearings.
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