Solon wants to transfer SC’s JDF to Bureau of Treasury

A LADY lawmaker wanted the Bureau of Treasury to take over the management of the Supreme Court’s Judiciary Development Fund (JDF) to ensure transparency in the custody, accounting and disbursement of the funds.

Rep. Rosenda Ann Ocampo (6th District, Manila), author of House Bill 6441, said the proposal aims to shield the position of the Chief Justice from unwarranted criticisms or false accusations of corruption in the administration of the JDF.

Ocampo said former Chief Justice Renato Corona’s failure and refusal to account for the Judiciary Development Fund during his term was used by the prosecutors as one of the grounds for his impeachment.

“The measure intends to insulate the position of the Chief Justice from unwarranted criticisms or false accusations of corruption in the administration of the JDF,” Ocampo said.

“Moreover, the Supreme Court will continue to exercise its exclusive power to identify the expenditures to be paid from the JDF in accordance with Presidential Decree 1949,” Ocampo said.

The JDF was created under PD 1949 to augment the allowances of the members and personnel of the judiciary and to finance the acquisition, maintenance and repair of court offices, equipment and facilities.

JDF is derived from legal fees paid by the people who avail of court services and from other sources of revenue identified by the Supreme Court.

Under the bill, the JDF will be manage by the National Treasury for the judiciary and shall be allocated and used exclusively for its purpose.

The JDF shall be included and treated as a separate and distinct budget item of the Supreme Court in the annual General Appropriation Act.

Congress shall ensure that the fiscal independence and autonomy of the Supreme Court is maintained.

The bill mandates the Commission on Audit (COA) to quarterly audit the JDF, and shall submit its report to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justices of the Court of Appeals, Court of Tax Appeals, and Sandiganbayan and all Executive Judges.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall formulate the necessary rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the proposed act.

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