[A.M. No. 02-10-616-RTC.
REQUEST FOR GRANT OF RATA TO FIRST LEVEL CLERKS OF COURT
Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this Court dated APR 01 2003.
A.M. No. 02-10-616-RTC (Request for Grant of RATA to First Level Clerks of Court.)
For consideration is the Letter, dated
Presently, the first level clerks of court who are receiving RATA are those holding the positions of Clerk of Court VI, V, and IV in the Metropolitan Trial Courts (MeTCs) and Clerk of Court IV in the Municipal Trial Courts in Cities (MTCCs). Excluded are those holding the positions of (1) Clerk of Court III in the Metropolitan Trial Courts MeTCs and MTCCs; (2) Clerk of Court II in the Municipal Trial Courts (MTCs)and Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTCs); and (3) Clerk of Court I in the MTCs. The classification is based on Department of Budget (DBM) National Compensation Circular No. 67 (Annex A), effective January 1, 1992, containing the list of positions in the judiciary which have been determined by the DBM to be of equivalent rank with the national officials and employees entitled to receive RATA under Sections 2.1 and 2.2, in relation to Section 2.3.
In its Memorandum, dated March 6, 2003, on the letter of Mr. Reyes, the Office of the Court Administrator recommends that the Court:
1. Write a letter to the DBM requesting that of Clerks of Court III and Clerks of Court II be considered as officials entitled to representation and transportation expenses under Section 39 of the General Provisions of the General Appropriations Act.
2. If not granted by the
DBM, ask the FLECCAP to write a letter to the Appropriations Committee of the
House of Representatives to add to the list of officials under Section 39 the
positions of Clerks of Court III and Clerks of Court II with
The OCA Memorandum pertinently reads:
The General Appropriations Act (GAA), CY 2002 specifically enumerated the officials who are entitled to Representation and Transportation Allowance (RATA). Section 39 thereof specifically provides that:
Sec. 39. Representation and Transportation Allowances. ¾ The following officials and those of equivalent rank as may be determined by the DBM while in the actual performance of their respective functions are hereby granted monthly commutable representation/transportation allowances payable from the programmed appropriation provided for their respective offices not exceeding the amount indicated below, which shall apply to each type of allowance:
P7,350 for Department Secretaries;
P5,700 for Department Undersecretaries;
P4,875 for Department Assistant Secretaries;
P4,150 for Bureau Directors and Department Regional
P3,575 for Assistant Bureau Directors, Department
Assistant Regional Directors, Bureau Regional Directors, and Department Service
P2,950 for Assistant Bureau Regional Directors; and
chief of Divisions, identified as such in the Personal Services Itemization and
Plantilla of Personnel.
The transportation allowance herein authorized shall not be granted to officials who use government motor transportation. Unless otherwise provided by law, no amount appropriated in this Act shall be used to pay for representation and/or transportation allowances, whether commutable or reimbursable, which exceed the rates authorized under this Section. Previous administrative authorizations not consistent with the rates and conditions herein specified shall not longer be valid and payment shall not be allowed.
The position of first level clerk of court is not in the same category of and neither is it an equivalent rank with the positions enumerated in the GAA, the lowest of which is that of a Chief of Division with salary grade 24 or 25. Inasmuch as the salary grades of first level clerks of court are SG-22 and SG-18, for Clerk of Court III and Clerk of Court II, respectively, they are not specifically enumerated under the law to be entitled to RATA.
However, the same law grants the DBM the power to determine who may still be entitled to RATA. Further, GAA, CY 2002 under Special Provisions of the Supreme Court (letter “i”) provides that:
“Any savings in the appropriations of the Supreme Court and the Lower Courts may be utilized by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to augment any item of the Court’s appropriation for:
(i) commutable representation and transportation allowances and fringe benefits for Justices, Clerk of Courts, Court Administrator, Chief of Offices and other Court personnel in accordance with the rates prescribed by law.
Thus, the law does not entirely prohibit the grant of RATA to first level clerks of court provided that the DBM allows them to be entitled to RATA.
The criterion for the grant of RATA is stated in DBM Circular No. 67 thus:
RATA is attached to the performance of the duties and responsibilities of the incumbents of positions and not to positions as viewed and implemented before. Moreover, the salary grades of positions do not automatically entitle the incumbents thereof to RATA. Hence only those officials and employees enumerated under Section 2 hereof and who are actually performing the duties and responsibilities of their positions shall be entitled thereto.
The 2002 Revised Manual for Clerk of Court enumerates the general functions and duties of the first level clerks of court as follows:
1.1.1. Clerk of Court
18.104.22.168 Adjudicative Support Functions
a. Prepares and signs summonses, subpoenas and notices, writs of execution, remittances of prisoners, and releases of prisoners;
b. Certifies true copies of decisions, orders and other processes, letters of administration and guardianship; transmittals of appealed cases, indorsements and communications; and
c. prepares and signs monthly reports of cases.
22.214.171.124 Non-Adjudicative Functions:
a. Plans, directs, supervises and coordinates the activities of all divisions/ sections/units in the Office of the Clerk of Court with 13-30 salas;
b. Controls and manages all court records, exhibits, documents, properties and supplies;
c. Acts on applications for leave of absence and signs daily time records;
d. Determines the docket fees to be paid by parties-litigants as provided in the Rules of Court;
e. Issues clearances in appropriate cases;
f. Provides information services to the public and private agencies including bar associations;
g. Prepares cases for raffle;
h. Safekeeps and maintains a judgment book and execution book;
i. Studies and recommends to the Executive Judge ways and means to improve both adjudicative and administrative support;
j. Performs special functions as ex-officio municipal sheriff;
k. Implements all orders and polices of the court in connection with the speedy administration of justice.
l. Performs other duties that may be assigned to him.
1.1.2. Assistant Clerk of Court (Clerk of Court III)
126.96.36.199. Adjudicative Support Functions;
a. Examines records of cases to be calendared for trial;
b. Reviews and initials court clearances, certified true copies of decisions, etc. before the Clerk of Court affixes his signature;
188.8.131.52. Non-adjudicative Functions:
a. Participates in planning, directing, supervising and coordinating the activities of all divisions/sections/ units in the Office of the Clerk of Court for effectiveness and efficiency;
b. Prepares periodic reports and statistics on the status of cases for submission by the Clerk of Court to offices concerned;
c. Drafts/prepares correspondences and indorsements for signature of the Clerk of court;
d. Performs the duties and functions of the Clerk of Court V/VI in the absence of the latter;
e. Performs other duties that may be assigned to him.
1.2. Clerk of Court in
The Clerks of Court in single sala courts perform the same duties and responsibilities as the Clerk of Court III or the Assistant Clerks of Court in multiple sala courts.
1.3. Branch Clerk of Court
1.3.1 Adjudicative Support Functions:
184.108.40.206 Attends all court sessions;
220.127.116.11 Supervises the withdrawal of all records of cases to be heard and the preparation of the notices of the hearings, court’s calendar, reports, minutes, monthly reports, inventory of cases, index of exhibits, and paging of records of cases;
18.104.22.168 Sees to it that all returns of notices are attached to the corresponding evidence properly marked during the hearing as collected in an exhibit folder; and
22.214.171.124 Signs notices of orders and decisions for service to the parties, release papers of detained prisoners who are acquitted and/or who filed their corresponding bail bonds duly approved by the presiding judge.
1.3.2 Non-Adjudicative Functions:
126.96.36.199 Plans, directs, supervises and coordinates the activities of all personnel in a branch of a multiple sala for effectiveness and efficiency;
188.8.131.52 Keeps tab of the attendance and whereabouts of court personnel during office hours;
184.108.40.206 Controls and manages all court records, exhibits, documents, properties and supplies;
220.127.116.11 Administers oaths;
18.104.22.168 Issues certificates of appearances and clearances;
22.214.171.124 Drafts/prepares correspondence and indorsements for signature of the Judge; and
126.96.36.199 Performs other duties that may be assigned to him.
In a Memorandum, dated
This Office agrees [with] the observation that the duties and responsibilities of a Branch Clerk of Court [(Clerk of Court III)] and the Clerk of Court of a single-sala [court] of the [MeTC] [(Clerk of Court IV)] are basically the same. This office also agrees that the caseload of a branch of a multiple-sala [MeTC] is oftentimes heavier than that of a single-sala [MeTC] for the reason that multiple-sala courts are stationed in highly urbanized areas
. . . .
Also worth mentioning is the fact that under RA 7691 the jurisdiction of the lower courts below the Regional Trial Courts has been expanded which means additional burden for the Clerks of Court and Branch Clerk of court of the of the Metropolitan Trial Courts, as well as the Municipal Trial Court and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts.
. . . .
Indeed, R.A. No. 7691 enlarged the jurisdiction of the first level courts over civil cases such that in addition to their exclusive jurisdiction over civil actions and probate proceedings subject to the amounts specified therein and to actions for forcible entry and unlawful detainer, they now have exclusive jurisdiction over all civil actions which involve title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein where the assessed value of the property or interest therein does not exceed twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) or in civil actions in Metro Manila where such assessed value does not exceed P50,000.00.
With regard to the clerks of court of multiple-sala MTCs who hold the position of Clerk of Court II, the pertinent civil service form on their position description enumerates substantially the same functions and responsibilities as the clerks of court of multiple-sala and single-sala MeTCs and MTCCs holding the positions of Clerk of Court IV.
Considering the foregoing, there is merit in the request for the grant of RATA to first level clerks of court holding the positions of Clerk of Court III, II, and I. However, the Court can only augment existing items of its appropriations out of its savings.
WHEREFORE, the Court RESOLVED to RECOMMEND to the Department of budget and Management that court officials holding the positions of Clerk of Court III in the Metropolitan Trial Courts and Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Clerk of Court II in the Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts and Clerk of Court I in Municipal Trial Courts be considered as entitled to receive RATA.
Very truly yours,
LUZVIMINDA D. PUNO
Clerk of Court
(Sgd.)MA. LUISA D. VILLARAMA
Assistant Clerk of Court
Clerk of Court of MeTCs with 11 to 30 branches (e.g.,
Clerk of Court of MeTCs with 7-10 branches (e.g.,
Clerk of Court of single-sala MeTCs (e.g., Taguig, Pateros, Navotas) and
MeTCs with 2-6 branches (e.g.,
Clerk of Court of multiple-sala MTCCs (e.g.,
Clerk of Court of a branch of a multiple-sala MeTC (e.g., Branch 1,
Clerk of Court of a branch of a multiple-sala MTCC (e.g., Branch 1,
 Clerk of Court of multiple-sala MTC (e.g., Bulacan, Bulacan) and of a signle-sala MTC.
 Clerk of Court of an MCTC (e.g., Sta. Ana-Candaba, Pampanga).
 Clerk of Court of a branch of a multiple-sala MTC (e.g., Branch 1, Bulacan, Bulacan).
 Section 2 provides:
“The following national government officials and employees are covered by this circular:
2.1 Those whose positions are listed under Service code 18 of the Index of Occupational Services issued by the Department of budget and Management (DBM) pursuant to National Compensation Circular No. 57 except for the positions of the President, Vice President, Lupon Member and Lupon Chairman, and positions under the Local Executives Group;
2.2 Those whose positions are identified as chiefs of division in the Personal Services Itemization.”
2.3 Those whose position are determined by the DBM to be of equivalent rank with the officials and employees enumerated under Sec. 2.1 and 2.2 hereof (Annex A); and
2.4 Those who are duly designated by competent authority to perform the full time duties and responsibilities, whether or not in concurrent capacity, as Officer-In-Charge for one (1) full calendar month or more of the positions enumerated in Sections 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 hereof.
 Including clerk of court V and Clerk of Court IV.
 Clerk of Court III of MeTC and MTCC.
 Statement of duties and responsibilities of Clerk of Court II:
1. Plans, directs, supervises, and coordinates the activities of the personnel of a single-sala MTC/MCTC or Office of the Clerk of Court of a multiple-sala, MTC for effectiveness and efficiency;
2. takes charge of court writs and processes;
3. enters and promulgates judgments and orders;
4. prepares calendar of the court;
5. keeps the records and seal of the court;
6. certifies copies from the records and issues clearance to interested parties;
7. signs and submits daily time records of employees;
8. prepares and submits monthly reports of cases;
9. requisitions equipment, supplies and materials and assumes custody of the same;
10. manages the court records and physical facilities of the court and is accountable for money and property deposits of the court;
11. implements all orders and policies of the court in connection with the speedy administration of justice; and
12. performs other duties that may be assigned (CSO Form NO. 1 – position description)