Bill expanding scope of judiciary benefits passes 3rd reading
MANILA, Philippines — Court officials other than justices of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals may soon get more benefits as the House of Representatives approved on its third and final reading a bill that would standardize and expand the provision of these perks.
House Bill (HB) No. 8392 was approved during Wednesday’s session, with 266 lawmakers voting in favor of the measure.
No lawmaker in the House of Representatives voted against the bill and no one also abstained.
The bill aims to amend Republic Act No. 910, as amended by Republic Act No. 9946, or the law which dictates what benefits may be received by justices of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.
Under the bill, judges in the Sandiganbayan and the Court of Tax Appeals would receive the same benefits as Supreme Court and Court of Appeals justices — provided that they have the same judicial rank, salary, and privileges.
This means judges in the regional trial courts, metropolitan trial courts, municipal circuit trial courts, and Shari’a district and municipal courts in Mindanao, would have the same set of benefits.
“All pension benefits of retired members of the judiciary and judiciary officials with judicial rank, salary and privileges shall be automatically increased whenever there is an increase in the salary and allowances of the same position from which they retired,” the bill read.
House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said that the bill seeks to recognize the equal roles of the judiciary.
“[The] measure aims to recognize the substantial equality in the roles of judiciary officials conferred with judicial rank in the judiciary vis-à-vis the members of the judiciary, and which entitles these officials to ‘all retirement benefits being received by their counterpart justices and judges,’” he said.