The Supreme Court has approved an increase in the budget for retirement rites of Court of Appeals justices by six times.
In a five-page en banc resolution released earlier this week, the SC granted the request of CA Presiding Justice Romeo Barza to increase the maximum allowance for retirement celebration of CA magistrates effective last July 1.
From P200,000, the budget will now become P1.2 million per retiring associate justice of the appellate court and P1.5 million for retirement of the presiding justice.
The budget for retirement program of a magistrate covers expenses for activities held during the retirement ceremony, including luncheon or dinner reception, judicial tokens, food stubs for employees, souvenirs for guests, and miscellaneous expenses for court’s special session.
The high court agreed to the need to increase the retirement budget for the 68-member appellate court, which has been much lower than the corresponding retirement budget in the Sandiganbayan and Court of Appeals of P450,000 and P650,000, respectively.
The CA has 1,660 employees, or four to six times more than the 421 employees of the Sandiganbayan or the 271 employees of the CTA.
The SC, in the resolution penned by Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando, held that the CA would “need a higher retirement program budget for its retiring Presiding or Associate Justice compared to the two other courts.”
But the increase is lower than the amounts requested by Barza of P1.8 million for associate justices and P2 million for presiding justice.
The SC also did not grant the CAMs request for an automatic 10-percent budget increase yearly to cushion the effects of inflation. It said it would still have to review subsequent increases subject to the availability of funds and prevailing circumstances.