MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Justice (DOJ) has terminated the collection of legal fees in the wake of the 100% increase in the basic salary of state prosecutors as mandated by the Salary Standardization Law, and in order to give the poor "better access to justice."
Justice Sec. Leila De Lima, through Department Circular (DC) No. 25, directed all National Prosecution Service (NPS) assessment clerks and collection officers to "cease and desist from assessing and collecting legal fees," effectively revoking 4 previous DOJ issuances.
Under Republic Act (RA) No. 9279, (An Act Granting Additional Compensation in the Form of Special Allowances for the Members of the National Prosecution Service and the State Counsels in the Department of Justice), the department was allowed to collect fees to give additional compensation to state prosecutors and counsels in keeping with RA No. 6758 (Salary Standardization Law).
"[A]ppearing that 100% of the basic salary of the basic salary of prosecutors under RA No. 6758... has already been reached... it is hereby directed that... [a]ll assessment clerks and collection officers under the National Prosecution Service shall forthwith cease and desist from assessing and collecting legal fees...." the circular read.
In a text message to ABS-CBN News, De Lima said the termination of all legal fees for the filing of criminal complaints will allow those who cannot afford to initiate criminal proceedings.
"The rationale is to promote access to justice particularly the poor and marginalized victims of injustice," De Lima said.
The following legal fees are hereby terminated by virtue of the order::
A. CRIMINAL COMPLAINTSFEE1. ESTAFA/ VIOLATION OF TRUST RECEIPT LAW / BUSINESS SCAM / FINANCIAL FRUAD Amount of Damage: Up to P50,000.00150.00Over 50,000.00200.00Over 100,000.00300.00Over 150,000.00400.00Over 200,000.00500.00Over 250,000.00600.00Over 300,000.00700.00Over 350,000.00800.00Over 400,000.00900.00Over 500,000.001,000.00Additional P10.00 for every P1,000.00 2. LIBEL1,000.003. RECKLESS IMPRUDENCE200.004. ORAL DEFAMATION200.005. MALICIOUS MISCHIEF / ALL OTHER CASES WITH DAMAGES200.006. QUALIFIED THEFT200.007. CARNAPPING5,00.00 for trucks, cars and motorcycle; 1,000 for buses8. VIOLATION OF B.P. 2250% of fees for estafa; if filed w/ estafa , no charges9. VIOLATION OF R.A. 7832 (Electric Pilferage)2,000.0010. VIOLATION OF SSS / PAG-IBIG LAWS5% of collectible amount11. ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT100.0012. VIOLATION OF R.A. 8041 (Water Pilferage)1,000.0013. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW5,000.0014. VIOLATION OF SUBDIVISION / CONDOMINIUM LAW300.0015. VIOLATION OF P.D. 1083 (Code of Muslim Personal Laws)500.00B. APPEALS / PETITION FOR REVIEW 1. TO THE REGIONAL STATE PROSECUTORS500.002. MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE RESOLUTION OF REGIONAL STATE PROSECUTORS300.003. TO THE CHIEF STATE PROSECUTOR / SECRETARY1,000.004. MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE RESOLUTION OF THE CHIEF STATE PROSECUTOR / SECRETARY500.00C. MOTIONS / PLEADINGS ETC. FOR CONSIDERATION OR COMMENT OF PROSECUTORS 1. MOTION TO REDUCE BAIL100.002. MOTION FOR RELEASE OF MOTOR VEHICLES200.003. AFFIDAVIT OF DESISTANCE500.00 (Prosecutor's Office); 500.00 (RTC); 300.00 (MTC)4. MOTION FOR POSTPONEMENT IN PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION100.005. MOTION FOR RELEASE OF CASH BOND100.006. MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION IN PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION500.007. MOTION FOR REINVESTIGATION500.008. MOTION FOR INHIBITION OF PORSECUTOR200.00D. CLEARANCES ISSUED FOR: 1. LOCAL EMPLOYMENT50.002. FOREIGN EMPLOYMENT100.003. FOREIGN TRAVEL200.004. FIREARMS LISCENSE1,000.005. PERMIT TO CARRY FIREARMS500.006. BUSINESS PERMIT300.007. REITREMENT / RESIGNATION100.00E. OTHER SERVICES 1. MEDIATION500.002. SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS REQUIRING APPEARANCE OF PROSECUTOR500.003. ADMINISTRATION OF OATH50.004. CERTIFICATION RE: STATUS OF CASES, TRUE COPY OF DOCUMENTS, EXHBITS ETC.30.00 + 2.00/ page in excess of 3 pages