THE SENATE on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill that seeks to unclog the dockets of trial regional courts by expanding the jurisdiction of first level courts.
Under the measure, the jurisdiction of regional trial courts will be limited to civil cases involving properties worth P400,000. They are allowed now to handle cases involving properties worth as little as P50,000.
Metropolitan and municipal trial courts will take over these civil cases to lighten the load of regional trial courts, according to the measure.
Cases involving ships must involve claims worth more than P2 million for regional trial courts to take over, according to a copy of the bill. Inheritance claims should be more than P2 million for these courts to take notice.
The bill also delegated to the Supreme Court the power to raise or cut the threshold for trial courts.
Senator Aquilino L. Pimentel III, who voted no, said the delegation is unconstitutional. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas