April 16, 2024

A proposed law to create an additional Municipal Trial Court in La Trinidad, Benguet recently passed the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights.  

House Bill 1908/9476, authored by Benguet Rep. Eric Yap, seeks to establish the Municipal Trial Court of the First Judicial Region in Benguet, in La Trinidad to decrease pending cases before the province’s judicial bodies and ensure swift administration of justice.

The bill stated the challenging mountainous topography of the province, compared with other provinces in the country, also makes the courts inaccessible.

Currently, Benguet has eight first level courts: five Municipal Circuit Trial Courts (MCTC) and three MTC.   

Yap, in an interview, said based on his discussions from local judges and fiscals, the province receives a lot of cases, but these are piling up due to the lack of judges and court staff.

Talagang matatambakan tayo ng cases kapag ganun so malaking tulong ito. Hopefully mapunta sa plenary ng Senate at mapirmahan ng Presidente para madagdagan tayo ng isa pang RTC,” Yap said.

Yap has been requesting the judiciary in the past, for the establishment of an additional court in the province due to these challenges.  

The House of Representatives passed on third and final reading HB 9476 and was transmitted to the Senate for the passage of its counterpart measure before it will be forwarded for signing into law by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.

Under the law, the Supreme Court shall assign the branch number for the newly created branch of the MTC.

The SC, in coordination with the Secretary of the Department of Justice, shall immediately include in the court’s program the operation of the additional branch of the MTC.

Also, the funds necessary for the operation of the court created shall be appropriated and released only upon the actual organization of the court and the appointment of its personnel. – Ofelia C. Empian