Lawmakers support restoration of ₱14B slashed budget for judiciary

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 31) — Members of the House of Representatives expressed their support to provide the judiciary additional budget for 2024, pitching to restore the slashed ₱14.12 billion from the original amount of proposed allocated funds.

"I move not only to approve the budget of the judiciary but I move for the entire restoration of P14.12 billion so they can continue to render justice to the people of the Republic of the Philippines," Cagayan de Oro 2nd Dist. Representative Rufus Rodriguez said during a budget hearing.

The judiciary originally proposed a budget of ₱71.91 billion. However, it was slashed by ₱14.12 billion by the Department of Budget and Management to ₱57.79 billion in the 2024 National Expenditure Program.

It is appealing to Congress to restore at least half or ₱6.7 billion from the reduced budget.

Court Administrator Raul Villanueva said most of the funds will go to personal service expenses of the Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals, and lower courts.

Deputy minority leader Bernadette Herrera pointed out the judiciary's high obligation and disbursement rates.

"(Their) budget utilization (in) major programs are even more than 100% - 128.5%, 109.1% so wala po akong nakikitang rason (I don't see any reason) why we cannot give what they are asking for," Herrera said.

Other lawmakers including Northern Samar Rep. Paul Daza and AGRI Partylist Rep. Wilbert Lee also expressed support to restore at least P7 billion in the judiciary's budget.