THE JUDICIARY urged Congress on Thursday to approve its requested funding for new court buildings and the repair of existing ones to solve the dire need for storage facilities for files and documents.

“Many of our courts do not have filing facilities [for] storage that’s something that we are addressing when it comes to coming up with new buildings,” Supreme Court (SC) Administrator Raul B. Villanueva told the House appropriations committee. He added that many courthouses require repairs and rehabilitation. 

Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee noted that the lack of proper court facilities in some areas had even resulted in conducting hearings under a tree. 

The Judiciary seeks a total budget of P57.79 billion. Out of this, P10.87 billion with be earmarked for maintenance and operating expenses, P1.6 billion will be spent for capital outlay, and locally-funded projects will receive P5.4 billion. It also asked Congress to reconsider earmarking P6.7 billion for personnel services and benefits. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz