THE SENATE on Monday backed a budget increase for the Judiciary, citing the need to fund its digitization and modernization efforts. 

“The budget of the Judiciary should really be increased,” Senator Raffy T. Tulfo said in mixed English and Filipino at a hearing. “It’s about time that it’s modernized, it’s about time that it’ digitalized.” 

The Budget department has proposed a P52.72-billion budget for the Judiciary, 28.9% or P21.46 billion lower than its original proposal. The judiciary wants lawmakers to restore P2.8 billion. 

The country ranked 55th out of 117 countries in the Digital Quality of Life Index 2022 by Surfshark from 48th last year. In Asia, the Philippines placed 14th out of 34 countries. 

Meanwhile, the Philippines dropped 25 places to 45th for internet quality this year. While the average mobile Internet speed and stability improved, speed growth worsened from last year. The average broadband internet speed improved but stability and speed growth worsened. 

The Supreme Court needs more proctors, CCTV cameras for the bar exams In November, which would continue to be digitalized, Administrator Raul B. Villanueva told senators. 

.“That’s why we’re asking for an additional budget next year because this was not included unfortunately,” he added. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan