Bill seeks to provide hazard pay for court judges

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Friday, February 28, 2014

A BILL was filed at the House of House of Representatives seeking to mandate the government to provide hazard pay for the court judges.

Albay Representative Edcel "Grex" Lagman Jr. said that House Bill 4024 provides that all duly appointed judges in the Regional Trial Court shall be granted a hazard pay during their incumbency in the amount equivalent to 25 percent of their basic monthly salary.

"The amount necessary for the effective implementation of this Act shall be charged to the appropriations of the Judicial Department under the current General Appropriations Act. Thereafter, such sum as may be necessary for its continued implementation shall be included in the annual budget of the Judicial Department," the bill read.


In his explanatory note, Lagman said that there has been a strong and consistent clamor from judges spanning four administrations which is backed up by Amnesty International's study from 1991 to 2012 placing Philippine judges among those most at risk of assassination wherein 22 judges have been murdered or assassinated or making it an average of two judges killed every year.

The Albay lawmaker also noted that "one additional judge included in this list is one judge too many" hence imperative need for Congress to hear and heed this demand.

"By the very nature of their profession, Regional Trial Court judges are exposed to risks and perils to life. Being the front-liners of the judiciary, conducting hearings of their cases on a daily basis subject them to the dangers and threats every day," Lagman said.

He added that murder or assassination of the country's judges inevitably sends a chilling effect to persons committed to the search for justice and such cases intimidate the independent and impartial work of the court judges.

"I believe that our judges should also be afforded hazard pay or the premium given to government personnel exposed to hazardous situations," Lagman said. (Sunnex)

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