Davao First Congressional District Rep. Paolo 'Pulong' Z. Duterte. (PNA file photo)

DAVAO CITY -- First Congressional District Representative Paolo "Pulong" Z. Duterte is pushing for the immediate approval of his bill seeking to create three more Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCCs) here to ensure the swift administration of justice for every case filed.

In a statement Thursday, Duterte said there is an urgent need for more local courts to speed up case resolution and address the slow justice system in the country.

Duterte cited the immediate need to increase the number of first-level courts that includes the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC), Municipal Trial Courts (MTCs), and the Municipal Circuit Trial Courts (MCTC).

“The said piece of legislation will eventually declog second-level courts, particularly the regional trial courts," he said.

House Bill No. 3272, which aims to create three additional branches of MTCCs in the 11th Judicial Region to be stationed in Davao City, has already been approved at the committee level of the Lower House.

Duterte noted that several attempts have been made to declog court dockets, the most significant of which is Republic Act No. 11576 or the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 2021, which expanded the jurisdiction of first-level courts.

“The number of cases is expected to increase considering the expansion in the threshold amount of small cases to PHP1 million. Hence, this bill seeks to decrease the pending cases before the city's judicial bodies and to ensure the swift administration of justice for every case filed,” he said.

In this city, there are only seven existing MTCC branches.

Cases in four of the courts are regularly raffled because only one branch is functioning as an Environmental Court, while another with a presiding judge functions as an Executive Judge with additional administrative duties and obligations.

Another branch is temporarily bogged down when its caseload had reached 1,500.

“The Constitution grants that all persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies,” Duterte said. (PNA)