- Re: Release of P100 Million by DBM to the FY 2012 DOJ Budget Intended for the Manila Hall of Justice Project
- A.M. No. 13-1-4-SC
March 5, 2013
A.M. No. 13-1-4-SC
Please take notice that the Court en banc issued a Resolution dated March 5, 2013, which reads as follows:
"A.M. No. 13-1-4-SC RE: RELEASE OF THE P100 MILLION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT TO THE FY 2012 DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE BUDGET INTENDED FOR THE MANILA HALL OF JUSTICE PROJECT SCHATc
In a letter dated February 1, 2012, Chief State Counsel and JUSIP Chairman Ricardo V. Paras III informed the Court that P100 million was released by the Department of Budget and Management for the civil works and construction design of the Manila Hall of Justice, pursuant to under the OSEC-DOJ Agency Budget Matrix for 2012. The Chief State Counsel thus requests for plans, profile and requirements for the construction of the Manila Hall of Justice.
The Halls of Justice Coordinating Committee, in a Memorandum dated December 3, 2012, signed by its Chairman, Justice Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr., submitted for the Court's consideration the following report and recommendation:
Under the Justice System Infrastructure Program (JUSIP), the local government unit donates a parcel of land for the use of the trial courts and the Department of Justice (DOJ) offices; the DOJ constructs a hall of justice; and by virtue of the 2000 Memorandum between the DOJ and the Court, upon completion of the construction, DOJ turns over all the pertinent documents to the Court and the ownership of both the land and the hall of justice is consolidated with the Court which is to maintain the same.
In its meeting, the Manila Hall of Justice Coordinating Committee deliberated upon the same and agreed to refer the matter to the court for policy guidance since the Php100M budget released to the DOJ may not be used for the MHOJ due to the following reasons: (i) only trial courts shall be housed at the MHOJ since the MHOJ Project was to be funded under the World Bank loan; and (ii) the land where the MHOJ shall be located is in the name of the Court.
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Meanwhile in the 17 July 2012 En Banc Resolution of the Court in A.M. No. 12-7-14-SC (Re: Allocation of Amounts for the Construction Costs of the Manila Hall of Justice, the Cebu Court of Appeals Building and the Cagayan De Oro Court of Appeals Building), the Court appropriated from its existing savings the amount of One Billion Eight Hundred Sixty Five Million Pesos (Php1,865,000,000.00) for the Manila Hall of Justice. IDTSaC
Since the budget appropriated by the Court pertains to Court savings and the DOJ offices will not be housed in the MHOJ, the MHOJ Project does not fall under the mandate of the JUSIP.
In today's meeting of this Committee, the members discussed that the Court may make representations with DOJ JUSIP that the Php100M MHOJ budget for FY 2012 may be allotted to any of the following priority infrastructure project/s of the court:
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(2) Malabon City Hall of Justice
Due to the floods caused by Typhoon Ondoy, the Judges and court personnel were immediately relocated from the Malabon Hall of Justice to another site. On November 16, 2012, the OHJ together with Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes met with Mayor Antolin A. Oreta III of Malabon City to conduct an ocular inspection of the old Malabon HOJ site since the Local Government of Malabon has done some site developments in the Catmon compound and now intends to donate a bigger lot with approximately 900 square meters as the site of a new Malabon HOJ where the existing three (3) Regional Trial Courts (RTCs), one (1) Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) as well as the newly created five (5) RTCs and one (1) MeTC court may be housed.
Exploratory talks on the possibility of the Local Government of Malabon City to construct the said new HOJ was discussed. Unfortunately, Mayor Oreta expressed that Malabon City does not have any budget for the same.
Construction of HOJs is lodged with the DOJ-JUSIP. The inclusion of the budget for the Malabon Hall of Justice in the DOJ budget for FY 2013 is no longer feasible since the DOJ budget hearing is in its 100M Manila HOJ budget to the FY 2012 DOJ-JUSIP, then the Court may opt to inform DOJ that the said Php100M MHOJ budget may be used as an initial budget for the construction of a new Malabon Hall of Justice.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the members of this Committee resolved to recommend to the Court that a resolution be issued requesting the Department of Budget and Management to approve the transfer of the amount of One Hundred Million Pesos (Php100,000,000.00) which was included in the DOJ-JUSIP for Fiscal Year 2012 budget for the Manila Hall of Justice to the budget of the judiciary, subject to existing budgeting policies and procedures, to be used for the construction of the Malabon Hall of Justice. (Underscoring ours) TICaEc
The Court fully agrees with the report and recommendation of the Halls of Justice Coordinating Committee. The Court also extends its gratitude to the DOJ, DBM and Congress for their support to the Manila Hall of Justice project. In our view, under the present conditions, the P100 million allocated by them for the Manila Hall of Justice will be equally useful, if not more so, for the construction of the Malabon City Hall of Justice.
WHEREFORE, the Court hereby requests the Department of Budget and Management to approve the transfer of the amount of One Hundred Million Pesos (P100,000,000.00) which was included in the DOJ-JUSIP budget for Fiscal Year 2012 for the Manila Hall of Justice to the budget of the Judiciary, subject to existing budgeting policies and procedures, to be used for the construction of the Malabon Hall of Justice." (adv12)
Very truly yours,
(SGD.) ENRIQUETA E. VIDAL
Clerk of Court