Co-Sponsorship Speech of Senator Loren Legarda
House Bill 4660
28 October 2014 – Senate Session Hall
Based on an Asian Development Bank report on the Philippine justice sector, one of the significant challenges affecting the speedy administration of justice and disposition of court cases in the country is the high vacancy rates in the judiciary.
The passage of Republic Act 9227 in 2003, which authorizes a 100% raise in compensation for judges, has only temporarily halted the further rise in vacancy rates. From the more-than-30% vacancy rate in the judiciary in 2004, we saw a decline to 19.7% by end of 2007. The vacancies again increased to 22.7% in 2008.
Filling up these vacancies is made more difficult by the stringent constitutionally-mandated screening of judicial appointees.
It is on this note that I express my support for the passage of this bill, which I wish to co-sponsor today, House Bill 4660, under Committee Report No. 86. The bill seeks to provide thirty (30) days judicial leave with pay in addition to the fifteen (15) days vacation leave and fifteen (15) days sick leave already provided for by the law, for our presiding judges in first-level courts. We note that this privilege is currently being enjoyed by judges of courts of general jurisdiction, or the Regional Trial Courts, and the appellate courts.
By raising the non-monetary benefits provided for our judges, we wish to somehow alleviate the burden of our existing judges with their presently heavy workload. We hope to be able to attract many more to heed the call for public service and discharge a most significant function, that of dispensing justice.
Thank you, Mr. President.
 Asian Development Bank “Background Note on the Justice Sector of the Philippines” December 2009