A new law will ease the files of regional courts of first instance

Republic Law 11576 “will undoubtedly help unclog the files of our second-level courts,” Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo said

An amendment to a 40-year-old law has broadened the jurisdiction of the Philippine trial courts in civil matters, which appears to unclog regional trial courts (RTC) cases and improve the administration of justice in the country.

On July 30, President Rodrigo Duterte promulgated Republic Law No. 11576 or the Judicial Reorganization Law of 2021, amending certain provisions of the Batas Pampansa Blg of 1981. 129.

“This law will undoubtedly help unclog the files of our second-level courts, which in turn would lead to faster resolution of cases and better administration of justice,” Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo said on Thursday August 5.

The law has increased the minimum number of certain civil cases falling under the jurisdiction of the BTI, so that cases below the new threshold will be brought before the first level courts: the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC), the Municipal Trial Courts in Cities (MTCC), municipal courts of first instance (MTC) and municipal courts of first instance (MCTC).

Before RA 11576, the BTI had jurisdiction “over all civil actions involving title or possession of real estate or any interest thereon”, with a minimum amount of 20,000 and 50,000 P.

The new law increases the minimum amount for BTI in these civil actions to P400,000.

The jurisdiction of the BTI over claims in all admiralty and maritime jurisdiction actions has been increased to P2 million and above in Metro Manila, from a minimum of P100,000 and P200,000.

Prior to the new law, the BTI had jurisdiction over “all other cases in which the claim, excluding interest, damages of any kind, attorney’s fees, litigation costs and costs or the value of the property in dispute exceeds 100,000 P or, in these other aforementioned elements exceeds 200,000 P. ”The minimum amount is now set at 2 million pesos under RA 11576.

“Thanks to this new law, the jurisdictional amounts of our first instance courts have now been adjusted to levels more suited to the country’s current economic conditions and real estate valuation,” said Gesmundo.

The law will be prospective, that is, it will only cover cases filed after the entry into force of the law.


Elna M. Lemons