By December, the Supreme Court is set to complete the implementation of an e-payment system in all Metro Manila courts.
The e-payment system, which is an in-house developed system of the Supreme Court Management Information Systems Office (MISO), provides litigants with the convenience of having to pay for only one receipt. Such single receipt, which already consolidates all the required legal fees, is immediately printed out from the computer upon assessment and cashiering.
Under the previous manual system, litigants have to pay for seven different receipts upon the filing of a case, namely for payments to the Special Allowance for the Judiciary, the Judiciary Development Fund, the Legal Research Fund, the Victims’ Compensation Fund, the Philippine Mediation Center, the Sheriff’s Trust Fund, and the Land Registration Authority.
The system also allows authorized court personnel to ascertain the cash on hand in their courts at any time of the day as it already keeps a running count, which results in faster recording and accurate reconciliation of legal fees. Reporting of cases are also now more efficient as the problem of lost receipts has been addressed by the computerization of payment.
Furthermore, due to the implementation of this system, the SC was able to standardize the legal fees in all system-covered courts, and the inconsistencies in collection are now alleviated.
At present, the e-payment system is installed in all courts in Metro Manila except for the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila, which is expected to utilize the system before the end of 2010.
This initiative is the one of the first few steps towards the modernization of the Judiciary, with the next step being the implementation of the e-payment system in all courts in the country starting with Iloilo City in December this year, and in all key cities such as Cebu, Davao, and Cagayan De Oro by next year. The implementation of an online payment system is also underway, and is set to be launched also next year.
Such initiatives are part of the Judiciary Case Management System (JCMS), which is one of the Court’s judicial reform projects aimed at declogging congested dockets and helping solve delays in case management and resolution through the use of information technology.
The SC MISO provided the training for the court personnel who are tasked to directly use the system, and facilitated the procurement of new computers and printers for the system-covered courts.