The House Committee on Justice recently approved through an omnibus motion, pertinent house bills creating new Regional Trial Courts (RTCs) in various provinces and cities, among which a proposal to create a total of 19 additional RTC branches for Zamboanga del Sur and the cities of Pagadian and Zamboanga authored by Deputy Speaker for Mindanao Beng Climaco.
House Bill 1455 entitled an “An Act Amending Sections 14 (J) and 29 of
Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, Otherwise Known as The Judiciary Reorganization
Act of 1980”, principally authored by Cong. Climaco calls for the
creation of four (4) additional Regional Trial Court branches in the
Province of Zamboanga del Sur, and the Cities of Pagadian and Zamboanga
with an overall total of nineteen (19) branches.
Out of the 19 branches, ten (10) seats shall be for Zamboanga City, and
the remaining seats for Pagadian City, Molave, San Miguel, Ipil, and
With the increase of population through the years, the number of cases
continues to grow and now clog the dockets of the six (6) RTC and four
(4) MTCC branches. Since 1983 up to August 2004, a total of 20,968 cases
have been filed with the Regional Trial Court in Zamboanga City, 12,683
of which being criminal in nature.
At present, a total of 3,843 cases are pending with the RTC or at an
average of 640 cases per court which is far from the ideal number of
cases which is 200 or less. For the same 21-year period, total of 12,586
criminal cases have been filed with the Municipal Trial Court in
As of Dec 31, 2009, the total pending at the four (4) MTCC is 6,249 or
at an average of 1,692 cases per court. The existing six (6) RTC
branches and four (4) MTCC branches are clearly inadequate to handle the
total case load.
Rep. Climaco responded to the need of allocating additional court
branches in Zamboanga City by proposing HB 1455 in which the Committee
on Justice has approved through an omnibus motion during the committee
hearing last November 10. (Marvin Segura)