MALACAÑANG on Saturday said it did not reject the judiciary’s request for funding for its e-court program as Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno claims because no such request was made.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Sereno could have made an erroneous claim when she said on Thursday that the Executive turned down the judiciary’s request for more funds.
“The Chief Justice mentioned about their budget for e-courts which was not granted [by the Executive]. But records would show that there was no funding request for such in their 2014 and 2015 proposals,” Valte said during the weekly briefing on Radyo ng Bayan.
“What they had requested was a budget for the implementation of information technology projects which include digitization of their system, thus shortening the process of litigation. They have been given P774 million for that five-year program. We supported them,” she said.
Valte was reacting to the statement of Sereno that they can beef up the existing 61 e-courts if the Executive Department had granted their request for a bigger budget.
Under the proposed P2.606-trillion national budget for 2015, the judiciary was allocated P20 billion.
The judiciary also gets additional budget from the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF).
The fund is sourced from the docket and other legal fees paid by party litigants, and given in the form of the cost of living allowance of all court employees (at least 80 percent) and in the purchase of office equipment and other facilities (at least 20 percent).