Supreme Court (File photo)

MANILA – In an effort to deliver timely and safe justice and relevant public service, the Supreme Court accepts electronic payments for filing fees in small claims cases nationwide.

While the high court has implemented some digital transformations within the judicial system even before the Covid-19 pandemic, it has constantly innovated to meet the demands of improving its institutional capacity.

Officials of the judiciary see the introduction of digital solutions as more than a technological move. It is also a necessary reform to bring its services closer to the public, especially at a time when staying home is the norm due to the pandemic.

Recognizing the digital divide, particularly in far-flung areas where there is little to no internet connectivity, SC has partnered with Fortune Pay for the online payment of legal fees for small claims cases in first level courts -- Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities outside Metro Manila, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts.

The digitalization of small claims fees has improved ease of transactions for the litigants and lessened work for court employees.

The services of Fortune Pay is the newest addition to the growing roster of collection channels that will be later on integrated with the Judiciary ePayment Solution being developed by the SC.

“It is aimed at streamlining the processes of assessment and payment of court fees, increasing accessibility of the public to judicial services, increasing transparency and accountability, and providing the Supreme Court with efficient accounting and auditing mechanisms,” the SC said.

The SC and Fortune Pay assure that the digital application is compliant with laws on privacy.

“Fortune Pay commits to provide a seamless facility that will ensure safe, secure, fast, and efficient processing of payments nationwide, and is willing to lead efforts to educate the public about digital innovations,” the payment provider said in a news release over the weekend. (PR)