The Manila Times - Judges-at-large to unclog court dockets

News & Interviews
18 January 2021

By Bernadette E. Tamayo | The Manila Times

SEN. Juan Edgardo Angara said court dockets would be unclogged with the P244.9-million that Congress infused in the judiciary’s 2021 budget.

The senator on Sunday said the judiciary’s budget would ensure the implementation of Republic Act (RA) 11459 or the “Judges-at-Large Act,” and the judiciary marshal service.

Enacted on Aug. 13, 2019, RA 11459 mandates the creation of judges-at-large posts in regional and municipal trial courts in order to decongest dockets.

These appointed judges-at-large will have no permanent salas and may be assigned by the Supreme Court as acting or assisting judges to any Regional Trial Court (RTC) or Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) “as public interest may require.”

They are entitled to salaries, privileges, allowances, emoluments, benefits, rank and title of regular RTC and MTC judges.

The funds allocated for the judiciary would pave the way for the appointment of 100 judges-at-large posts for 2021, said the chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance.

Angara noted that the National Expenditure Program submitted by Malacañang to Congress last year did not contain a provision for the appointment of judges-at-large.

For 2020, the first year of implementation of the law, we provided funding to cover for the creation of 50 judges-at-large posts. For 2021, we will double the number of posts to 100 as requested by our Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta,” the senator said.

“We want to sustain the implementation of the Judges-at-Large Act to help ensure the delivery of speedy justice in the country,” he said. “With the appointment of more judges, we can expect to see the resolution of more cases and eventually free up the courts of its backlog,” he added.