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SC to send contingent to House budget hearing

/ 07:18 PM August 12, 2014

Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court will send a delegation to attend the budget hearing at the House of Representatives on Thursday that will also tackle the Judiciary Development Fund.

High court’s information chief Theodore Te said Deputy Court Administrator Raul Villanueva will be making the presentation on behalf of the high court. “Some justices” will also attend the budget deliberation.

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When asked if Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno will attend, Te said “I don’t think so.”

The high court was invited by the Committee on Appropriations chair Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab.

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Ungab earlier said that aside from the judiciary’s budget for 2015, the committee will also inquire about the Judiciary Development Fund. Some administration allies said the JDF is the pork barrel version in the judiciary. JDF was sourced from court fees paid by litigants. It was distributed as additional benefits for the employees in the judiciary and to fund projects by the high court.

The national government has increased the funding for the judiciary in the proposed 2015 budget by up to P900 million from the 2013 budget of P18. 560 billion.

Likewise, funding for the high court, the regional trial courts and metropolitan courts will also increase from P16.408 billion to P17.366 billion, or an increase of P758 million.

The Court of Appeals meanwhile will get P1.404 billion in the proposed budget. On the other hand, the Court of Tax Appeals will get P242.7 million, lower than the 2013’s funding of P273 million.

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