The judiciary should spend more time online, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said, to promote transparency and accountability in the country's courts.
And budget shouldn't be an issue, as the Department of Budget and Management vowed support for an online information system to make the judiciary more accessible.
Abad said the digitization of the Supreme Court's processes will "boost operational efficiency and allow little to no room for abuse or irregularities." Abad said the judiciary could even create an online system that will make information on pending cases available to the public.
"This way, anyone can check the status of their cases online and monitor its progress from there, without having to make multiple visits or phone calls to a judge’s office," he said. That will also make it easier to identify which cases are taking too long to resolve, he said.
He also called on the Supreme Court to publish court decisions from lower courts online. "The public will thus be informed on how certain issues have been settled, especially on matters that bear a significant impact on government and the people’s welfare. This way, the Supreme Court can enlighten the public on key judicial matters, as well as maintain a posture of dignified silence," Abad said.
The Supreme Court already publishes its decisions and administrative matters on its website.
Abad said the national budget can also support the creation of an internal human resources and payroll management system for the Supreme court as well as other government offices. The system is meant to maintain up-to-date records of court employees and ensure that salaries and benefits are released on time.
Money can also go into an online database that will allow the judiciary to track allocations and fund releases.
On Wednesday, G-7 foreign ministers issued a Declaration on Maritime Security expressing alarm over “unilateral actions, such as large scale land reclamation, which change the status quo and increase tensions” in the region. In their communiqué, which did not specifically mention China, the ministers expressed belief that reclamation activities were meant to “change the status quo” in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, through which 40 percent of global trade passes. …