The Department of Justice is in need of more than 1,000 public prosecutors to fill in vacancies in the National Prosecution Service.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Tuesday that about 500 applicants have already been nominated and awaiting approval by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We need something like a thousand more,” Guevarra said.
“We are continually screening applicants and there are about 500 nominations already with the Office of the President. We are just waiting for the President’s signature. They are slowly releasing the names of the new prosecutors,” he added.
In a speech before the Prosecutors League of the Philippines on Monday, NPS Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento said he has already discussed the shortage of prosecutors with Guevarra.
Malcontento said the NPS is eyeing one prosecutor for every courtroom.
Unfortunately, there are still some areas when a prosecutor is burdened with two or more courtrooms. In one area in Region 6, he added, there are six prosecutors assigned to 41 courts.
The NPS chief said they would prioritize areas where there is a big disparity in the ratio between the number of courtrooms and prosecutors.