THE SUPREME COURT “strongly reminded” special commercial courts to act fast on cases, citing the one-year maximum period for deciding on rehabilitation plans after Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez sent a letter of concern.

In a circular dated July 27 and sent to the media on Wednesday, Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez said “all judges of the Special Commercial Courts and those handling commercial cases are hereby strongly reminded that pursuant to Sec. 72, Republic Act No. 10142, courts ‘shall have a maximum period of one year from the date of the filing of the petition to confirm a Rehabilitation Plan.’”

Ms. Midas further noted that failure to meet the deadline “constitutes gross inefficiency and warrants the imposition of administrative sanctions against the erring magistrate.”

There are currently 147 designated special commercial courts in the country.

The Finance chief, in his letter, urged the court administrator to “ensure that courts comply with their mandate” as there is a delay in the “resolution of various commercial cases filed in courts such as rehabilitation, insolvency, and liquidation cases, among others.”

Mr. Domiguez cited the case of state-owned LANDBANK of the Philippines, “a creditor-party in numerous rehabilitation and insolvency proceedings” where there is a “questionable trend of unwarranted delay and/or circumvention of court proceedings.”

Mr. Dominguez further said that some cases may have been purposely delayed and have remained pending for more than a year. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago