PARACELIS, Mountain Province – President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act (RA) No. 11381 which authorized the creation of an additional branch of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in the province which will be based in this eastern town.
The house version of the law was authored by the late Rep. Maximo Dalog, Sr. and was pursued by Kalinga Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang, who served as caretaker congressman of Mountain Province during the 17th Congress.
The municipality of Paracelis is 225 kilometers away from the capital town of Bontoc where the regional trial courts are located.
Previously, litigants will have to endure the hassle of travelling for more than ten hours passing via four other provinces like Ifugao, Kalinga, Nueva Vizcaya and Isabela just to attend hearings in said courts.
For his part, incumbent Rep. Maximo Y. Dalog, Jr. said that the implementation of the law creating an additional branch of the RTC that will be based in the municipality will bring the justice system closer to the people and eventually avoid the unnecessary dismissal of cases because litigants cannot afford to travel to Bontoc just to attend scheduled hearings for their cases.
. “Our constituents from this eastern part of the province will no longer struggle from the difficulty of travel including spending for travel expenses as the RTC branch is already right t their doorstep,” Dalog stressed.
RA 11381 was signed into law by the Chief Executive on August 22, 2019 and was transmitted to the Supreme Court (SC) which will be in charge of operationalizing the additional branch of the RTC by providing the necessary personnel, office supplies and equipment among other requirements for the same to exist.
The creation of the additional RTC branch that will be based in Paracelis was initially recommended by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Mountain Province chapter that was previously headed by Rep. Dalog, Jr. considering the snowballing clamor from litigants from the eastern municipalities who have to spend to travel to the capital town to attend to the scheduled hearing of their cases.
Currently, two branches of the RTC have been established by the SC and are based in the capital town of Bontoc catering the huge volume of cases coming from the ten municipalities of the province.
The neophyte lawmaker expressed optimism that the additional RTC branch will be operational the soonest so that cases of litigants that are lodged with the two branches of the RTC in Bontoc that involve people from the eastern municipalities will already be transferred to the said court for easier access by the litigants and for the speedy disposition of the pending cases because of the assignment of a permanent judge to handle the same.
He stated that the matter will be subject to the appropriate disposition of the SC considering that such issues will be pursuant to the actions of the high tribunal.