SEN. Edgardo Sonny Angara presided over the Finance subcommittee hearing on the proposed 2024 budget of the Judiciary Wednesday, August 23, 2023.
According to the 2024 National Expenditure Program (NEP), the proposed budget of the Judiciary for next year is P57.79 billion, an increase of 5.26 percent compared to the P54.9-billion 2023 budget.
During the hearing, Angara asked Court Administrator Raul Villanueva on the number of security marshals to be employed by the judiciary next year.
In response, Villanueva said that if the number of personnel will be based on the number of courts, then it would be around 5,000 personnel.
However, Villanueva quickly added, the number of personnel depends on the preference of the respective justices.
Angara assured Villanueva that the Judiciary budget has the support of the Senate.
“I think, with what you’ve heard, you can count on the support of – at the very least – four senators here. Many senators will support the judiciary in the plenary,” Angara said.
Sen. Nancy Binay, vice-chairperson of the Committee on Finance, recalled that former Sen. Panfilo Lacson amended the Integrated Bar of the Philippines’ budget for legal assistance in 2021.
During the committee deliberation, Binay said that from P30 billion, Lacson increased the IBP budget for legal assistance by P100 million.
“Can I ask for an update if the amount was really utilized by the IBP?” the senator asked.
Binay was told that the allocated budget for legal assistance was utilized and the amount was a much-needed funding, considering that the Public Attorney’s Office has been handling many cases already.