SUPREME Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has appealed to legislators to grant funds for the construction of a new building for the lower courts in Cebu City.
“We want a very modern, high-tech building for Cebu,” she said.
She said that the SC plans to build a building that will house the courts. She said she hopes that the National Government would support the SC’s plans.
Sereno yesterday afternoon led the blessing of the newly renovated courtrooms of 22 Regional Trial Court (RTC) and eight Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) branches in the Qimonda IT Building in North Reclamation Area.
The SC pays for the rent and other operations of the courts, which occupy the third and fourth floors of Qimonda, a privately owned building.
Court Administrator Midas Marquez said that he received complaints from court employees that they lack space for documents in Qimonda. He said that his office will look into the problem.
The courts had to move to Qimonda because the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit the Visayas in 2013 damaged the Marcelo Fernan Palace of Justice, located behind the Capitol.
The SC has yet to decide what to do with the Palace of Justice. Sereno said that the SC has discussed the fate of the Palace of Justice with Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III.
Davide earlier said that the Capitol wants to buy the Palace of Justice from the SC and use it as extension for Provincial Government offices.
Sereno also said that the SC is modernizing its record-keeping of cases to reduce the volume of paper in the courts. She said that the move will also improve efficiency.
“We want to deliver to our people justice (in) real time. It is no longer justice delayed," said Sereno.
In 2013, the SC launched an electronic court (eCourt) in Quezon City as a way to achieve a more streamlined and efficient paperless courts.
The eCourt is a computer-based system that aims to organize and control case work flows, from filing to implementation.
While in Cebu, Sereno will attend today the 15th Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) national convention.