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BATAS PAMBANSA Blg. 129 Section 5. Succession to Office of Presiding Justice.

– In subparagraph 4 of the fourth paragraph od

case of a vacancy in the absence of inability to perform the Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948.
AN ACT REORGANIZING THE JUDICIARY, powers, functions, and duties of his office, the associate
APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR Justice who is first in precedence shall perform his powers, The court of Appeals shall have the power to try cases and
OTHER PURPOSES functions, and duties until such disability is removed, or conduct hearings, receive evidence and perform any and
another Presiding Justice is appointed and has qualified. all acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases
PRELIMINARY CHAPTER falling within its original and appellate jurisdiction, including
Section 6. Who presides over session of a division. – If the the power to grant and conduct new trials or Appeals must
Presiding Justice is present in any session of a division of be continuous and must be completed within three (3)
Section 1. Title. – This Act shall be known as "The the Court, he shall preside. In his absence, the Associate months, unless extended by the Chief Justice. (as
Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980." Justice attending such session who has precedence shall amended by R.A. No. 7902.)
Section 2. Scope. – The reorganization herein provided Section 10. Place of holding sessions. – The Court of
shall include the Court of Appeals, the Court of First Section 7. Qualifications. – The Presiding Justice and the Appeals shall have its permanent station in the City of
Instance, the Circuit Criminal Courts, the Juvenile and Associate Justice shall have the same qualifications as Manila. Whenever demanded by public interest, the
Domestic Relations Courts, the Courts of Agrarian those provided in Constitution for Justice of the Supreme Supreme Court, upon its own initiative or upon
Relations, the City Courts, the Municipal Courts, and the Court. recommendation of the Presiding Justice, may authorize a
Municipal Circuit Courts. division of the Court to hold sessions outside Manila,
Section 8. Grouping of Divisions. – (Expressly repealed periodically, or for such periods and at such places as the
CHAPTER I by Section 4, Exec. Order No. 33, July 28, 1986.) Supreme Court may determine, for the purpose of hearing
COURT OF APPEALS and deciding cases.
Section 9. Jurisdiction. – The Court of Appeals shall
Section 3. Organization. – There is hereby created a Court Exercise: Section 11. Quorum – A majority of the actual members of
of Appeals which consists of a Presiding Justice and fifty the Court shall constitute a quorum for its session en
Associate Justice who shall be appointed by the President banc. Three members shall constitute a quorum for the
of the Philippines. The Presiding Justice shall be so 1. Original jurisdiction to issue writs session of a division. The unanimous vote of the three
designated in his appointment, and the Associate Justice of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas members of a division shall be necessary for the
shall have precedence according to the dates of their corpus, and quo warranto,and auxiliary writs or pronouncement of a decision of final resolution, which shall
respective appointments, or when the appointments of two processes, whether or not in aid of its appellate be reached in consultation before the writing of the opinion
or more of them shall bear the same date, according to the jurisdiction; by any members of the division. In the event that the three
order in which their appointments were issued by the members do not reach a unanimous vote, the Presiding
President. Any member who is reappointed to the Court 2. Exclusive original jurisdiction over actions for Justice shall request the Raffle Committee of the Court for
after rendering service in any other position in the annulment of judgements of Regional Trial Courts; the designation of two additional Justice to sit temporarily
government shall retain the precedence to which he was and with them, forming a special division of five members and
entitled under his original appointment, and his service in the concurrence of a majority of such division shall be
the Court shall, for all intents and purposes, be considered 3. Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final necessary for the pronouncement of a decision or final
as continuous and uninterrupted. (as amended by Exec. judgements, resolutions, orders or awards of resolution. The designation of such additional Justice shall
Order No. 33,, July 28, 1986.) Regional Trial Courts and quasi-judicial agencies, be made strictly by raffle.
instrumentalities, boards or commission, including
Section 4. Exercise of powers and functions. – The Court the Securities and Exchange Commission, the A month for reconsideration of its decision or final resolution
Appeals shall exercise its powers, functions, and duties, Social Security Commission, the Employees shall be resolved by the Court within ninety (90) days from
through seventeen (17) divisions, each composed of three Compensation Commission and the Civil Service the time it is submitted for resolution, and no second motion
(3) members. The Court may sit en banc only for the Commission, Except those falling within the for reconsideration from the same party shall be
purpose of exercising administrative, ceremonial, or other appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in entertainment. (as amended by Exec. Order No. 33, July
non-adjudicatory functions. (as amended by Exec. Order accordance with the Constitution, the Labor Code 28, 1986.)
No. 33,.) of the Philippines under Presidential Decree No.
442, as amended, the provisions of this Act, and Section 12. Internal Rules. – The court en banc is
of subparagraph (1) of the third paragraph and authorized to promulgate rules or orders governing the
constitution of the divisions and the assignment of Masbate, and Sorsogon, and the cities of Legaspi, Naga (a) Fifty-seven Regional Trial Judges shall be
Appellate Justices thereto, the distribution of cases, and and Iriga; commissioned for the First Judicial Region. There
other matters pertaining to the operations of the Court of its shall be.
divisions. Copies of such rules and orders shall be The Sixth Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of
furnished by the Supreme Court, which rules and orders Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, La Calota, Roxas, San Carlos, Two branches (Branches III ans II) for
shall be effective fifteen (15) days after receipt thereof, and Silay, and the subprovince of Guimaras; the province of Abra, with seats at
unless directed otherwise by the Supreme Court. Bangued;
The Seventh Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of
CHAPTER II Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor, and the cities Eight branches (Branches III to X) for the
REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS of Bais, Canlaon, Cebu, Danao, Dumaguete, Lapu-lapu, province of Benguet and the city of
Mandaue, Tagbilaran, and Toledo, Baguio, Branches III to VII with seats at
Section 13. Creation of Regional Trial Courts. – There are Baguio City, and Branches VIII to X at La
hereby created thirteen (13) Regional Trial Courts, one for The Eighth Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces or Trinidad;
each of the following judicial regions: Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern, Samar, Southern Leyte,
Ormoc, and Tacloban: Nine branches (Branches XI to XIX) for
The First Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of the province of Ilocos Norte and the city
Abra, Benguet, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, The Ninth Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of of Laoag, Branches XI to XVI with seats
Mountain Province, and Pangasinan, and cities of Baguio, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Sur, and the at Laoag City, Branches XVII and XVIII
Dagupan, Laog and San Carlos; cities of Dapitan, Dipolog, Pagadian, and Zamboanga; at Batac, and Branch XIX at Bangui;

The Second Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of The Tenth Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of Six branches (Braches XX to XXV) for
Batanes, Cagayan, Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao, Nueva Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Camiguin, the province of Ilocos Sur, Branches XX
Viscaya, and Quirino; Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, and Surigao del and XXI with seats at Vigan, Branch XXII
Norte, and the cities of Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Gingoog, at Narvacan, Branch XXIII at Candon,
The Third Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of Ozamis, Oroquieta, Surigao, and Tangub; Branch XXIV at Cabugao, and Branch
Bataan, Bulacan (except the municipality of valenzuela), XXV at Tagudin;
Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales, and the The Eleventh Judicial Region, consistingnof the provinces
cities of Angeles, Cabanatuan, Olongapo, Palayan and San of Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, South Nine branches (Branches XXVI to
Jose; Cotabato, and Surigao del Sur, and the cities of Davao, and XXXIV) for the province of La Union,
General Santos; and Branches XXVI to XXX with seats at San
The National Capital Judicial Region, consisting of the Fernando, Branches XXXI and XXXII at
cities of Manila, Quezon, Pasay, Caloocan and Agoo, Branch XXXIII at Bauang, and
The Twelfth Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of Branch XXXIV at Balaoan;
Mandaluyong, and the municipalities of Navotas, Malabon, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, North
San Juan, Makati, Pasig, Pateros, Taguig, Marikina, Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat, and the cities of Cotabato,
Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, and Valenzuela; Iligan, and Marawi. Two branches (Branches XXXV and
XXXVI) for the province of Mountain
The Fourth Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of province, with seats at Bontoc; and
In case of transfer or redistribution of the provinces,
Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Marinduque, Mindoro subprovinces, cities or municipalities comprising the
Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Palawan, Quezon, Rizal regions established by law of purposes of the Twenty-one branches (Branches XXXVII
(except the cities and municipalities embraced within the administrative field organization of the various departments to LVII) for the province of Pangasinan
National Capital Judicial Region0, Romblon, and Aurora, and agencies of the government, the composition of the and the citie sof dagupan and san
and the cities of Batangas, Cavite, Lipa, Lucena, Puerto judicial regions herein constituted shall be deemed Carlos, Branches XXXVII to XXXIX with
Princessa, San Pablo, Tagaytay, and Trece Martires; modified accordingly. seats at Lingayen, Branches XL to XLIV
at dagupan, Branches XLV to XLIX at
The Fifth Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of Urdaneta, Branch L at Villasis, Branches
Section 14. Regional Trial Courts. LI and LII at Tayug, Branch LIII at
Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes,
Rosalaes, Branches LIV and LV at
Alaminos, and Branch LVI and LVII at Five branches (Branches I to V) for the Thirty-two branches (Branches 76 to
san Carlos. province of Bataan, Branches I to III with 107) for Quezon City, with seats thereat;
seats at Balanga, Branch IV at
(b) Thirty-two Regional Trial Judges shall be Mariveles, and Branch V at Dinalupihan; Twelve branches (Branches 108 to 119)
commissioned for the Second Judicial region. for Pasay City, with seats thereat;
There shall be: Seventeen branches (Branches VI to
XXII) for the province of Bulacan (except Twelve branches (Branches 120 to 131)
Twelve branches (Branches I to XII) for the municipality of Valuenzuela), with for Caloocan City, with seats thereat;
the province of Cagayan, Branches I to V seats at Malolos;
with seats at Tuguegarao, Branches VI Fifty-eight branches (Branches 56 to 74
to X at Aparri, Branch XI at Tuao, and Eighteen branches (Branches XXIII to and 132 to 170) for the Municipalities of
Branch XII at Sanchez Mira; XL) for the province of Nueva Ecija and Navotas, Malabon, San Juan,
the cities of Cabanatuan, San Jose and Madaluyong, Makati, Pasig, Pateros,
One branch (Branch XIII) for the province Palayan, Branches XXIII to XXX with Taguig, Marikina, Parañaque, Las Piñas,
of Batanes, with seat at Basco; seats at Cabanatuan City, Branches and Muntinlupa; Branches 67 to 71 and
XXXI to XXXIII at Guimba, Branches 151 to 168 at Pasig; and Branches 72 to
XXXIV to XXXVI at Gapan, Branch 74, 169 and 170 at Malabon; and
Two branches (Branches XIV and XV) XXXVII at Sto. Domingo, Branches
for the province of Ifugao, Branch XIV XXXVIII and XXXIX at San Jose, and
with seat at Lagawe, and Branch XV at Branch XL at Palayan. Three branches (Branches 75, 171 and
Potia; 172) for the municipality of Valenzuela,
with seats thereat. (As amended by EO
Twenty-two branches (Branches XLI to No. 33, July 30, 1986.)
Nine branches (Branches XVI to XXIV) LXII) for the province of Pampanga and
for the province of Isabela, Branches XVI the city of Angeles, Branches XLI to
to XVIII with seats at Ilagan, Branches XLVIII with seats at San Fernando, (e) Eihty-two Regional Trial Judges shall be
XIX and XX at cauayan, Branch XXI at Branches XLIX to LIII at Guagua, commissioned for the Fourth Judicial Region.
Santiago, Branch XXII at Cabagan, Branches LIV and LV at Macabebe, and There shall be:
Branch XXIII at Roxas, and Branch XXIV Branches LVI to LXII at Angeles City;
at Echague; Fourteen branches (Branches I to XIV)
Six branches (Branches LXIII to LXVIII) for the province of Batangas and the
Two branches (Branches XXV and XXVI) for the province of Tarlac, Branches LXVI cities of Lipa and Batangas, Branches I
for the province of kalinga-Apayao, at Capas, Branch LXVII at Paniqui, and to VI with seats at Batangas City, Branch
Branch XXV with seat at Tabuk, and Branch LXVIII at Camiling; and V at Lemery, Branches VI to VIII at
Branch XXVI at Luna; Tanuan, Branches IX to XI at Balayan,
Branches XII and XIII at Lipa, and
Seven branches (Branches LXIX to Branch XIV at Nasugbu;
Four branches (Branches XXVII to XXX) LXXV) for the province of Zambales and
for the province of Nueva Vizcaya, the city of Olongapo, Branches LXIX to
Branches XXVII to XXIX with seats at LXXI with seats at Iba and Branches Nine branches (Branches XV to XXIII) for
Bayombong, and Branch XXX at LXXII to LXXV at Olongapo City the province of Cavite and the cities of
Bambang; Cavite, Tagaytay and Trece Matires,
Branch XV with seat at Naic, Branches
(d) One hundred seventy-two (172) Regional Trial XVII at Cavite City, Branch XVIII at
Two branches (Branches XXXI and Judges shall be commissioned for the National
XXXII) for the province of Quirino, with Tagayatay City, Branch XIX at Bacoor,
Capital Judicial Region. There shall be: Branches XX to XXII at Imus, and Branch
seats at Cabarroguis.
XXIII at Trece Martires;
Fifty-five branches (Branches 1 to 55) for
(c) Seventy-five Regional Trial judges shall be the City of Manila, wit seats thereat;
commissioned for the Third Judicial Region. There Fourteen branches (Branches XXIV to
shall be: XXXVII) for the province of Laguna and
the city of San Pablo, Branches XXVIII at Two branches (Branches LXXXI and Nine branches (Branches I to IX) for the
Sta. Cruz, Branches XXIX to XXXII at LXXXII) for the province of Romblon, province of Aklan, with seats at Kalibo;
San Pable City, Branch XXXIII at Branch LXXXI with seat at Romblon, and
Siniloan, and Branches XXXIV to XXXVI Branch LXXXII at Odiongan. Four branches (Branches X to XIII) for
at Calamba; the province of Antique, Branches X to
(f) Fifty-five Regional Trial Judges shall be XII with seats at San Jose, and Branch
One branch (Branch XXXVIII) for the commissioned for the Fifth Judicial Region. There XIII and Culasi;
province of Marinduque, with seat at shall be:
Boac; Eighr branches (Branches XIV to XXI) for
Eighteen branches (Branches I to XVIII) the province of Capiz and the city of
Five branches (Branches XXXIX to XLIII) for the province of Albay and the city of Roxas, Branches XIV to XIX with seats
for the province of Mindoro Oriental, Legaspi, Branches I to X with seats at at Roxas City and Branches XX and XXI
Branches XXXIX to XL with seats at Legaspi City, Branches XI to XIV at at Mambusao;
Calapan, Branches XLI and XLII at Ligao, and Branches XV to XVIII at
Pinamalayan, and Branch XLII at Roxas; Tabaco; Eighteen branches (Branches XXII to
XXXIX) for the province of Iloilo, the
Three branches (Branches XLVII to Nineteen branches (Branches XIX to subprovince of Guimaras, and the city of
XLVI) for the province of Mindoro XXXVII) for the province of Camarines Iloilo, with seats at Iloilo City; and
Occidental, Branch XLIV with seat at Sur and the cities of Naga and Iriga,
Mamburao, and Branches XLV and XLVI Branches XIX to XXVIII with seats at Twenty-four branches (Branches XL to
at San Jose; Naga City, Branch XXIX at Libmanan, LXIII) for the province of Negros
Branch XXX at Tigaon, Braches XXXI to Occidental, and the cities of
Six branches (Branches XLVII to LII) for XXXIII at Pili, and Branches XXXIV to Bacolod,Bago, Cadiz, La Carlota, San
the province of Palawan and the city of XXXVII at Iriga City; Carlos and Silay, Branch XL with seat at
Puerto Princesa, with seats at Puerto Silay City, Branches XLI to LIV at
Princesa City; Four branches (Branches XXXVIII to Bacolod City, Branches LV and LVI at
XLII) for the province of Camarines Himamaylan, Branches LVII to LIX at
Thirteen branches (Branches LIII to LXV) Norte, with seat at Daet; Kabankalan, Branch LXII at Bago City,
for the province of Quezon and the city of and Branch LXII at La Carlota City.
Lucena, Branches LIII to LX with seats at Two branches (Branches XLII and XLII)
Lucena City, Branches LXI and LXII at for the province of Catanduanes, with (h) Forty-six Regional Trial Judges shall be
Gumaca, Branch LXIII at Calauag, seats at Virac; commissioned for the Seventh Judicial Region.
Branch LXIV at Mauban, and Branch There shall be:
LXV at Infanta; Seven branches (Branches XLIV to L) for
the province of Masbate, Branches XLIV Four branches (Branches I to IV) for the
One branchj(Branch LXVI) for the to XLVIII with seats at Masbate, Branch province of Bohol and the city of
province of Aurora, with seat at Baler; XLIX at Cataingan, and Branch L at San Tagbilaran, with seats at Tagbilaran City;
Jacinto; and
Fourteen branches (Branches LXVII to Twenty-five branches (Branches V to
LXXX) for the province of Rizal except Five branches (Branches LI to LV) for the XXIX) for the province of Cebu and the
the cities and municipalities embraced province of Sorsogon, Branches LI to LIII cities of Cebu, Danao, Lapu-Lapu,
within the National Capital Judicial with seats at Sorsogon, Branch LVI at Mandaue and Toledo, Branches V to
Region, Branches LXVII to LXX with Gubat, and Branch LV at Irosin. XXIV with seats at Cebu City, Branch
seats at Binangonan, Branches LXXI to XXV at Danao City, Branch XXVI at
LXXIV at Antipolo, Branches LXXV to (g) Sixty-three Regional Trial Judges shall be Argao, Branch XXVII at Lapu-Lapu City,
LXXVII at San Mateo, and Branches commissioned for the Sixth Judicial Region. There Branch XXVIII at Mandaue City, and
LXXVIII to LXXX at Morong; and shall be: Branch XXIX at Toledo City;
Sixteen branches (Branches XXX to XXX at Basey, Branches XXXI and XXXII Four branches (Branches VIII to XI) for
XLV) for the province of Negros Oriental at Calbayog City, and Branch XXXIII at the province of Bukidnon, Branches VIII
and the cities of Dumaguete, Bais and Calbiga. to X with seats at Malaybalay and Branch
Canlaon, Branches XXX to XLIV with XI at Manalo Fortich;
seats at Dumaguete City, and Branch (j) Twenty-four Regional Trial Judges shall be
XLV at Bais City; and commissioned for the Ninth Judicial Region. Five branches (Branches XII to XI) for
There shall be: the province of Misamis Occidental and
One branch (Branch XLVI) for the the cities of Oroquieta, Ozamis, and
province of Siquijor, with seat at Larena. Two branches (Branches I and II) for the Tangub, Branches XII to XIV with seats
province of Basilan, with seats at at Oroquieta City, Branch XV at Ozamis
(i) Thirty-three Regional Trial Judges shall be Isabela; City, and Branch XVI at Tangub City;
commissioned for the Eighth Judicial Region.
There shall be: Two branches (Branches III and IV) for Eleven branches (Branches XVII to
the province of Sulu, Branch III with seat XXVII) for the province of Misamis
Five branches (Branches I to V) for the at Jolo, and Branch IV at Parang; Oriental and the cities of Cagayan de
province of Eastern Samar, Branches I Oro and Gingoog, Branches XVII to XXV
and II with seats at Borongan, Branch III with seats at Cagayan de Oro City,
One branch (Branch V) for the province Branch XXVI at Medina, and Branch
at Guiuan, Branch IV at Dolores, and of Tawi-Tawi, with seat at Bongao;
Branch V at Oras; XXVII at Gingoog City;

Six branches (Branches VI to XI) for the One branch (Branch XXVIII) for the
Thirteen branches (Branches VI to XVIII) province of Zamboanga del Norte, and
for the province of Leyte, the sub- province of Camiguin, with seat at
the cities of Dipolog and Dapitan, Mambajao; and
province of Biliran, and the cities of Branches VI to X seats at Dipolog City,
Ormoc and Tacloban, Branches VI and and Branch XI at Sindangan; and
IX with seats at Tacloban City, Branch X Four branches (Branches XXIX to XXXII)
at Abuyog, Branch XI at Calubian, for the province of Surigao del Norte and
Branch XII at Ormoc City, Branch XIII at Thirteen branches (Branches XII to the City of Surigao, Branches XXIX and
Carigara, Branch XIV at Baybay, Branch XXIV) for the province of Zamboanga del XXX with seats at Surigao City, Branch
XV at Burauen, Branch XVI at Naval, Sur and the cities of Pagadian and XXXI at Dapa, and Branch XXXII at
Branch XVII at Palompon, and Branch Zamboanga Branches XII to XVII with Dinagat, Dinagat Island.
XVIII at Hilongos; seats at Zamboanga City, Branches,
XVIII to XXII at Pagadian City, Branch
XXIII at Molave, and Branch XXIV at Ipil. (l) Twenty-nine Regional Trial Judges shall be
Five branches (Branches XIX to XXIII) commissioned for the Eleventh Judicial Region.
for the province of Northern Samar, There shall be
Branches XIX and XX with seats at (k) Thirty-two Regional Trial Judges shall be
Catarman, Branches XXI and XXII at commissioned for the Tenth Judicial Region.
There shall be: Four branches (Branches I to IV) for the
Laoang, and Branch XXIII at Allen; province of Davao del Norte, Branches I
and II with seats at Tagum, Branch III at
Three branches (Branches XXIV to Five branches (Branches I to V) for the Nabunturan, and Branch IV at Panabo;
XXVI) for the province of Southern Leyte, province of Agusan del Norte and the city
Branches XXIV and XXV with seats at of Butuan, with seats at Butuan City;
Three branches (Branches V to VII) for
Maasin, and Branch XXVI at San Juan; the province of Davao Oriental,
and Two branches (Branches VI and VII) for Branches V and VI with seats at Mati and
the province of Agusan del Sur, Branch VII at Banganga;
Seven branches (Branches XXVII to Branches VI with seat at Prosperidad
XXXIII) for the province of Samar and the and Branch VII with seat at Bayugan;
Fourteen branches (Branches VIII to
city of Calbayog, Branches XXVII to XXI) for the province of Davao del Sur
XXIX with seats at Catbalogan, Branch
and the city of Davao, Branches VIII to Two branches (Branches XIX and XX) Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts over the said
XVII with seats at Davao City, Branches for the province of Sultan Kudarat, branch may exercise appellate jurisdiction. The power
XVIII and XIX at Digos, Branch XX at Branch XIX, with seat at Isulan, and herein granted shall be exercised with a view to making the
Malinta, and Branch XXI a Bansalan; Branch XX at Tacurong. courts readily accessible to the people of the different parts
of the region and making the attendance of litigants and
Five Branches (Branches XXII to XXVI) Section 15. Qualifications. – No persons shall be witnesses as inexpensive as possible.
for the province of South Cotabato and appointed Regional Trial Judge unless he is a natural-born
the city of General Santos, Branches citizen of the Philippines, at least thirty-five years of age, Section 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. – Regional Trial
XXII and XXIII with seats at General and for at least ten years, has been engaged in the practice Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction:
Santos City, Branches XXIV and XXV at of law in the Philippines or has held a public office in the
Koronadal, and Branch XXVI at Surallah; Philippines requiring admission to the practice of law as an (1) In all civil actions in which the subject of the
and indispensable requisite. litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation;

Three branches (Branches XXVII to Section 16. Time and duration of sessions. – The time and (2) In all civil actions which involve the title to, or
XXIX) for the province of Surigao del Sur, duration of daily sessions of the Regional Trial Courts shall possession of, real property, or any interest
Branch XXVII with seat at Tandag, be determined by the Supreme Court: Provided, however, therein, where the assessed value of the property
Branch XXVIII at Lianga, and Branch That all motions, except those requiring immediate action, involved exceeds Twenty thousand pesos
XXIX at Bislig. shall be heard in the afternoon of every Friday, unless it (P20,000.00) or for civil actions in Metro Manila,
falls on a holiday, in which case, the hearing shall be held where such the value exceeds Fifty thousand
(m) Twenty Regional Trial Judges shall be on the afternoon of the next succeeding business pesos (50,000.00) except actions for forcible entry
commissioned for the Twelfth Judicial Region. day: Provided, further, That the Supreme Court may, for into and unlawful detainer of lands or buildings,
There shall be: good reasons, fix a different motion day in specified areas original jurisdiction over which is conferred upon
Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts,
Seven branches (Branches I to VII) for Section 17. Appointment and assignment of Regional Trial and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts;
the province of Lanao del Norte and the Judges. – Every Regional Trial Judge shall be appointed to
city of Iligan, Branches I to VI with seats a region which shall be his permanent station, and his (3) In all actions in admiralty and maritime
at Iligan City, and Branch VII at Tubod; appointment shall state the branch of the court and the seat jurisdiction where he demand or claim exceeds
thereof to which he shall be originally assigned. However, One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or ,
the Supreme Court may assign temporarily a Regional Trial in Metro Manila, where such demand or claim
Five branches (Branches VIII to XII) for Judge to another region as public interest may require,
the province of Lanao del Sur and the exceeds Two hundred thousand pesos
provided that such temporary assignment shall not last (200,000.00);
city of Marawi, Branches VIII to X with longer than six (6) months without the consent of the
seats at Marawi City, and Branches XI Regional Trial Judge concerned.
and XII at Malabang; (4) In all matters of probate, both testate and
intestate, where the gross value of the estate
A Regional Trial Judge may be assigned by the Supreme exceeds One hundred thousand pesos
Three branches (Branches XIII to XV) for Court to any branch or city or municipality within the same
the province of Maguindanao and the city (P100,000.00) or, in probate matters in Metro
region as public interest may require, and such assignment Manila, where such gross value exceeds Two
of Cotabato, Branches XIII and XIV with shall not be deemed an assignment to another station
seats at Cotabato City, and Branch XV at hundred thousand pesos (200,000.00);
within the meaning of this section.
(5) In all actions involving the contract of marriage
Section 18. Authority to define territory appurtenant to and marital relations;
Three branches (Branches XVI to XVIII) each branch. – The Supreme Court shall define the territory
for the province of North Cotabato, over which a branch of the Regional Trial Court shall
Branch XVI with seat at Kabacan, exercise its authority. The territory thus defined shall be (6) In all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction
Branch XVII at Kidapawan, and Branch deemed to be the territorial area of the branch concerned of any court, tribunal, person or body exercising
XVIII at Missayap; and for purposes of determining the venue of all suits, jurisdiction or any court, tribunal, person or body
proceedings or actions, whether civil or criminal, as well as exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions;
determining the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial
(7) In all civil actions and special proceedings or modification of the decision or judgment sought to be Thirty branches (Branches I to XXX) for the city of
falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of a reviewed. Manila with seats thereat;
Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and of the
Courts of Agrarian Relations as now provided by Section 23. Special jurisdiction to try special cases. – The Thirteen branches (Branches XXXI to XLIII) for
law; and Supreme Court may designate certain branches of the Quezon City with seats thereat;
Regional Trial Courts to handle exclusively criminal cases,
(8) In all other cases in which the demand, juvenile and domestic relations cases, agrarian cases, Five branches (Branches XLIV to XLVIII) for
exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, urban land reform cases which do not fall under the Pasay City with seats thereat;
attorney's fees, litigation expenses, and costs or jurisdiction of quasi-judicial bodies and agencies, and/or
the value of the property in controversy exceeds such other special cases as the Supreme Court may
One hundred thousand pesos (100,000.00) or, in determine in the interest of a speedy and efficient Five branches (Branches XLIX to LIII) for
such other abovementioned items exceeds Two administration of justice. Caloocan City with seats thereat;
hundred thousand pesos (200,000.00). (as
amended by R.A. No. 7691*) Section 24. Special Rules of Procedure. – Whenever a One branch (Branch LIV) for Navotas with seat
Regional Trial Court takes cognizance of juvenile and thereat;
Section 20. Jurisdiction in criminal cases. – Regional Trial domestic relation cases and/or agrarian cases, the special
Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all rules of procedure applicable under present laws to such Two branches (Branches LV and LVI) for Malabon
criminal cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any cases shall continue to be applied, unless subsequently with seats thereat;
court, tribunal or body, except those now falling under the amended by law or by rules of court promulgated by the
exclusive and concurrent jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan Supreme Court. Two branches (Branches LVII and LVIII) for San
which shall hereafter be exclusively taken cognizance of by Juan with seats thereat;
the latter. CHAPTER III
Section 21. Original jurisdiction in other cases. – Regional COURTS, AND MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS Mandaluyong with seats thereat;
Trial Courts shall exercise original jurisdiction:
Section 25. Establishment of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Seven branches (Branches LXI and LXVII) for
(1) In the issuance of writs of certiorari, prohibition, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. – Makati with seats thereat;
mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus and There shall be created a Metropolitan Trial Court in each
injunction which may be enforced in any part of metropolitan area established by law, a Municipal Trial
their respective regions; and Court in each of the other cities or municipalities, and a Five branches (Branches LXVIII to LXXII) for
Municipal Circuit Trial Court in each circuit comprising such Pasig with seats thereat;
(2) In actions affecting ambassadors and other cities and/or municipalities as are grouped together
public ministers and consuls. pursuant to law. One branch (Branch LXXIII) for Pateros with seat
Section 22. Appellate jurisdiction. – Regional Trial Courts Section 26. Qualifications. – No person shall be appointed
shall exercise appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided judge of a Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, or One branch (Branch LXXIV) for Taguig with seat
by Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Court unless he is a natural-born thereat;
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in their respective territorial citizen of the Philippines, at least 30 years of age, and, for
jurisdictions. Such cases shall be decided on the basis of at least five years, has been engaged in the practice of law
Two branches (Branches LXXV and LXXVI) for
the entire record of the proceedings had in the court of in the Philippines, or has held a public office in the
Marikina with seats thereat;
origin and such memoranda and/or briefs as may be Philippines requiring admission to the practice of law as an
submitted by the parties or required by the Regional Trial indispensable requisite.
Two branches (Branches LXXVII and LXXVIII) for
Courts. The decision of the Regional Trial Courts in such
Parañaque with seats thereat;
cases shall be appealable by petition for review to the Section 27. Metropolitan Trial Courts of the National
Capital Region. – There shall be a Metropolitan Trial Court
in the National Capital Region, to be known as the One branch (Branch LXXIX) for Las Piñas with
Court of Appeals which may give it due course only when
Metropolitan Trial Court of Metro Manila, which shall be seat thereat;
the petition shows prima facie that the lower court has
committed an error of fact or law that will warrant a reversal composed of eighty-two (82) branches. There shall be:
One branch (Branch LXXX) for Muntinlupa with Two branches for Lucena City; Two branches for Iligan City.
seat thereat;
Three branches for Naga City; Section 30. Municipal Trial Courts. – In each of the
Two branches (Branches LXXXI and LXXXII) for municipalities that are not comprised within a metropolitan
Valenzuela with seats thereat; Two branches for Iriga City; area and a municipal circuit there shall be a Municipal Trial
Court which shall have one branch, except as hereunder
Section 28. Other Metropolitan Trial Courts. – The provided:
Three branches for Legaspi City;
Supreme Court shall constitute Metropolitan Trial Courts in
such other metropolitan areas as may be established by Two branches for San Fernando, La Union;
law whose territorial jurisdiction shall be co-extensive with Two branches for Roxas City;
the cities and municipalities comprising the metropolitan Four branches for Tuguegarao;
area. Four branches for Iloilo City;
Three branches for Lallo, and two branches for
Every Metropolitan Trial Judge shall be appointed to a Seven branches for Bacolod City; Aparri, both of Cagayan;
metropolitan area which shall be his permanent station and
his appointment shall state branch of the court and the seat Two branches for Dumaguete City;
thereof to which he shall be originally assigned. A Two branches for Santiago, Isabela;
Metropolitan Trial Judge may be assigned by the Supreme
Court to any branch within said metropolitan area as the Two branches for Tacloban City; Two branches each for Malolos, Meycauayan and
interest of justice may require, and such assignment shall Bulacan, all of Bulacan Province;
not be deemed an assignment to another station within the Eight branches for Cebu City;
meaning of this section. Four branches for San Fernando and two
Three branches for Mandaue City; branches for Guagua, both of Pampanga;
Section 29. Municipal Trial Courts in cities. – In every city
which does not form part of a metropolitan area, there shall Two branches for Tarlac, Tarlac;
Two branches for Tagbilaran City;
be a Municipal Trial Court with one branch, except as
hereunder provided:
Two branches for Surigao City; Two branches for San Pedro, Laguna; and
Two branches for Laoag City;
Two branches for Butuan City; Two branches each for Antipolo and Binangonan,
both in Rizal.
Four branches for Baguio City;
Five branches for Cagayan de Oro City;
Section 31. Municipal Circuit Trial Court. – There shall be
Three branches for Dagupan City; a Municipal Circuit Trial Court in each area defined as a
Seven branches for Davao City;
municipal circuit, comprising one or more cities and/or one
Five branches for Olongapo City; or more municipalities. The municipalities comprising
Three branches for General Santos City; municipal circuits as organized under Administrative Order
Three branches for Cabanatuan City; No. 33, issued on June 13, 1978 by the Supreme Court
Two branches for Oroquieta City; pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 537, are hereby
constituted as municipal circuits for purposes of the
Two branches for San Jose City; establishment of the Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, and the
Three branches for Ozamis City;
appointment thereto of Municipal Circuit Trial
Three branches for Angeles City; Judges: Provided, however, That the Supreme Court may,
Two branches for Dipolog City; as the interests of justice may require, further reorganize
Two branches for Cavite City; the said courts taking into account workload, geographical
Four branches for Zamboanga City; location, and such other factors as will contribute to a
rational allocation thereof, pursuant to the provisions of
Two branches for Batangas City;
Two branches for Pagadian City; and
Presidential Decree No. 537 which shall be applicable pesos (P200,000.00) exclusive of interest Section 35. Special jurisdiction in certain cases. – In the
insofar as they are not inconsistent with this Act. damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees, absence of all the Regional Trial Judges in a province or
litigation expenses, and costs, the amount of city, any Metropolitan Trial Judge, Municipal Trial Judge,
Every Municipal Circuit Trial Judge shall be appointed to a which must be specifically alleged: Provided, That Municipal Circuit Trial Judge may hear and decide petitions
municipal circuit which shall be his official station. where there are several claims or causes of action for a writ of habeas corpus or applications for bail in
between the same or different parties, embodied criminal cases in the province or city where the absent
in the same complaint, the amount of the demand Regional Trial Judges sit.
The Supreme Court shall determine the city or municipality shall be the totality of the claims in all the causes
where the Municipal Circuit Trial Court shall hold sessions. of action, irrespective of whether the causes of Section 36. Summary procedures in special cases. – In
action arose out of the same or different Metropolitan Trial Courts and Municipal Trial Courts with at
Section 32. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, transactions; least two branches, the Supreme Court may designate one
Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in or more branches thereof to try exclusively forcible entry
criminal cases. – Except in cases falling within the (2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over cases of and unlawful detainer cases, those involving violations of
exclusive original jurisdiction of Regional Trial Courts and forcible entry and unlawful detainer: Provided, traffic laws, rules and regulations, violations of the rental
of the Sandiganbayan, the Metropolitan Trial Courts, That when, in such cases, the defendant raises law, and such other cases requiring summary disposition
Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts the question of ownership in his pleadings and the as the Supreme Court may determine. The Supreme Court
shall exercise: question of possession cannot be resolved shall adopt special rules or procedures applicable to such
without deciding the issue of ownership, the issue cases in order to achieve an expeditious and inexpensive
(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all violations of ownership shall be resolved only to determine determination thereof without regard to technical rules.
of city or municipal ordinances committed within the issue of possession. Such simplified procedures may provide that affidavits and
their respective territorial jurisdiction; and counter-affidavits may be admitted in lieu of oral testimony
(3) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions and that the periods for filing pleadings shall be non-
(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses which involve title to, or possession of, real extendible.
punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six property, or any interest therein where the
(6) years irrespective of the amount of fine, and assessed value of the property or interest therein Section 37. Preliminary investigation. – Judges of
regardless of other imposable accessory or other does not exceed Twenty thousand pesos Metropolitan Trial Courts, except those in the National
penalties, including the civil liability arising from (P20,000.00) or, in civil actions in Metro Manila, Capital Region, of Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal
such offenses or predicated thereon, irrespective where such assessed value does not exceed Fifty Circuit Trial Courts shall have authority to conduct
of kind, nature, value, or amount thousand pesos (P50,000.00) exclusive of preliminary investigation of crimes alleged to have been
thereof: Provided, however, That in offenses interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney's committed within their respective territorial jurisdictions
involving damage to property through criminal fees, litigation expenses and which are cognizable by the Regional Trial Courts.
negligence they shall have exclusive original costs: Provided, That value of such property shall
jurisdiction thereof. (as amended by R.A, No. be determined by the assessed value of the The preliminary investigation shall be conducted in
7691) adjacent lots. (as amended by R.A. No. 7691) accordance with the procedure prescribed in Section 1,
paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and (d), of Presidential Decree No.
Section 33. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Section 34. Delegated jurisdiction in cadastral and land 911: Provided, however, That if after the preliminary
Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in registration cases. – Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal investigation the Judge finds a prima facie case, he shall
civil cases. – Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts may be forward the records of the case to the Provincial/City Fiscal
Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise: assigned by the Supreme Court to hear and determine for the filing of the corresponding information with the
cadastral or land registration cases covering lots where proper court.
(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over civil actions there is no controversy or opposition, or contested lots the
and probate proceedings, testate and intestate, where the value of which does not exceed One hundred No warrant of arrest shall be issued by the Judge in
including the grant of provisional remedies in thousand pesos (P100,000.00), such value to be connection with any criminal complaint filed with him for
proper cases, where the value of the personal ascertained by the affidavit of the claimant or by agreement preliminary investigation, unless after an examination in
property, estate, or amount of the demand does of the respective claimants if there are more than one, or writing and under oath or affirmation of the complainant and
not exceed One hundred thousand pesos from the corresponding tax declaration of the real property. his witnesses, he finds that a probable cause exists.
(P100,000.00) or, in Metro Manila where such Their decisions in these cases shall be appealable in the
personal property, estate, or amount of the same manner as decisions of the Regional Trial Courts. (as
demand does not exceed Two hundred thousand amended by R.A. No. 7691)
Any warrant of arrest issued in accordance herewith may conclusions of law on which it is based, which may be The applicable appropriations shall likewise be transferred
be served anywhere in the Philippines. contained in the decision or final resolution itself, or to the appropriate courts constituted pursuant to this Act, to
adopted by reference from those set forth in the decision, be augmented as may be necessary from the funds for
Section 38. Judgments and processes. – order, or resolution appealed from. organizational changes as provided in Batas Pambansa
Blg. 80. Said funding shall thereafter be included in the
Section 41. Salaries. – Intermediate Appellate Justices, annual General Appropriations Act.
(1) All judgments determining the merits of cases
shall be in writing, stating clearly the facts and the Regional Trial Judges, Metropolitan Trial Judges, Municipal
law on which they were based, signed by the Trial Judges, and Municipal Circuit Trial Judges shall Section 45. Shari'a Courts. – Shari'a Courts to be
Judge and filed with the Clerk of Court. Such receive such compensation and allowances as may be constituted as provided for in Presidential Decree No. 1083,
judgment shall be appealable to the Regional Trial authorized by the President along the guidelines set forth otherwise known as the "Code of Muslim Personal Laws of
Courts in accordance with the procedure now in Letter of Implementation No. 93 pursuant to Presidential the Philippines," shall be included in the funding
prescribed by law for appeals to the Court of First Decree No. 985, as amended by Presidential Decree No. appropriations so provided in this Act.
Instance, by the provisions of this Act, and by such 1597.
rules as the Supreme Court may hereafter Section 46. Gratuity of judges and personnel separated
prescribe. Section 42. Longevity pay. – A monthly longevity pay from office. – All members of the judiciary and subordinate
equivalent to 5% of the monthly basic pay shall be paid to employees who shall be separated from office by reason of
(2) All processes issued by the Metropolitan Trial the Justices and Judges of the courts herein created for the reorganization authorized herein, shall be granted a
Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal each five years of continuous, efficient, and meritorious gratuity at a rate equivalent to one month's salary for every
Circuit Trial Courts, in cases falling within their service rendered in the judiciary; Provided, That in no case year of continuous service rendered in any branch of the
jurisdiction, may be served anywhere in the shall the total salary of each Justice or Judge concerned, government or equivalent nearest fraction thereof favorable
Philippines without the necessity of certification by after this longevity pay is added, exceed the salary of the to them on the basis of the highest salary
the Judge of the Regional Trial Court. Justice or Judge next in rank. received: Provided, That such member of the judiciary or
employee shall have the option to retire under the Judiciary
Section 43. Staffing pattern. – The Supreme Court shall Retirement Law or general retirement law, if he has met or
CHAPTER IV satisfied the requirements therefor.
GENERAL PROVISIONS submit to the President, within thirty (30) days from the date
of the effectivity of this Act, a staffing pattern for all courts
constituted pursuant to this Act which shall be the basis of Section 47. Repealing clause. – The provisions of
Section 39. Appeals. – The period for appeal from final the implementing order to be issued by the President in Republic Act No. 296, otherwise known as the Judiciary Act
orders, resolutions, awards, judgments, or decisions of any accordance with the immediately succeeding section. of 1948, as amended, of Republic Act No. 5179 as
court in all cases shall be fifteen (15) days counted from the amended, of the Rules of Court, and of all other statutes,
notice of the final order, resolution, award, judgment, or letters of instructions and general order or parts thereof,
decision appealed from: Provided however, That in habeas Section 44. Transitory provisions. – The provisions of this
Act shall be immediately carried out in accordance with an inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby
corpus cases, the period for appeal shall be forty-eight (48) repealed or accordingly modified.
hours from the notice of the judgment appealed from. Executive Order to be issued by the President. The Court
of Appeals, the Courts of First Instance, the Circuit Criminal
Courts, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts, the Section 48. Date of Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect
No record on appeal shall be required to take an appeal. In Courts of Agrarian Relations, the City Courts, the Municipal immediately.
lieu thereof, the entire record shall be transmitted with all Courts, and the Municipal Circuit Courts shall continue to
the pages prominently numbered consecutively, together function as presently constituted and organized, until the
with an index of the contents thereof. Approved: August 14, 1981
completion of the reorganization provided in this Act as
declared by the President. Upon such declaration, the said
This section shall not apply in appeals in special courts shall be deemed automatically abolished and the
proceedings and in other cases wherein multiple appeals incumbents thereof shall cease to hold office. The cases
are allowed under applicable provisions of the Rules of pending in the old Courts shall be transferred to the
Court. appropriate Courts constituted pursuant to this Act,
together with the pertinent functions, records, equipment,
Section 40. Form of decision in appealed cases. – Every property and the necessary personnel.
decision of final resolution of a court in appealed cases
shall clearly and distinctly state the findings of fact and the