COURT NEWS FLASH

SC Reaches Out to Typhoon Yolanda Victims

November 15, 2013

Augmenting the efforts of both public and private entities in helping the victims of super typhoon Yolanda, the Supreme Court will deploy on Monday, November 18, its Emergency Response Team (ERT) to the areas affected to assist in medical and relief efforts, as well as to locate and aid distressed court personnel in the Visayas. 

This development came following the Supreme Court’s earlier approval of the advance release of the salaries for November 30 of the judges and court personnel in areas affected by super typhoon Yolanda.  Judges and court personnel were also earlier given a two-week calamity leave.

The ERT is composed of volunteers from the various offices of the Court, all of whom have been trained to respond in emergency and disaster situations. The Enhanced Justice on Wheels (EJOW) buses will ferry the ERT and supplies to the afflicted areas.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno, who had approved the advance release of the judges’ and court employees’ salaries upon recommendation of Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez, has also ordered the latter to determine the safety and condition of the affected judges and court personnel. Court Administrator Marquez will lead a small advanced party to set up the judiciary's command post in the region.

Under Office Order No. 13-2012, Chief Justice Sereno approved the granting of the two-week calamity leave all judges and court personnel of Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Western Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, and Palawan from November 11, 2013 until November 25, 2013. The coverage was expanded to the Court of Appeals-Cebu, and the courts in Antique, Masbate, Biliran, and Southern Leyte.

Chief Justice Sereno also required the executive judges and judges in single sala courts in all affected areas to submit their respective status reports of the conditions of their court personnel, halls of justice, and court houses as soon as possible.

The Fiscal Management and Budget Office and the Financial Management Office of the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) were ordered to process for advanced release the salaries until November 30, 2013 and the allowances and benefits that may already be released of all judges and court personnel of Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Western Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Palawan, Bohol, and Zamboanga. The coverage was also expanded to the Court of Appeals-Cebu, and the courts in Antique, Masbate, Biliran, and Southern Leyte.

Likewise, Court Administrator Marquez and the Deputy Court Administrators assigned in the affected areas were directed to closely monitor their respective areas of assignments and propose further remedial measures to address the urgent needs of the affected judges and court personnel. ###