On 02 March 2022, the Supreme Court Public Information Office (“SC-PIO”) announced that the Supreme Court En Banc has approved new procedural rules for the expedition of criminal and civil actions in first level courts entitled Rules on Expedited Procedures in First Level Courts (“Rules on Expedited Procedures”). Some of the reported salient reported features of the Rules on Expedited Procedures include, among others:
- Civil Cases governed by Summary Procedure now include:
- Forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases;
- Civil actions and complaints for damages where the claims do not exceed Two Million Pesos (P2,000,000);
- Cases for enforcement of barangay amicable settlement agreements and arbitration awards where the money claim exceeds One Million Pesos (P1,000,000);
- Cases solely for the revival of judgment of any first level court;
- Civil aspect of violations of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 (“BP 22”), if no criminal action has been instituted.
- Criminal Cases governed by Summary Procedure now include:
- Violation of BP 22;
- Criminal cases where the penalty threshold consists of:
- Imprisonment not exceeding one year;
- Fine not exceeding Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00);
- Both imprisonment not exceeding one year and fine not exceeding Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00);
- Fine not exceeding One Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos (P150,000.00) for offenses involving damage to property through criminal negligence
- the increase of the threshold amount of small claims to One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00) regardless of whether the claim is filed within or without Metro Manila.
New rules have also been provided for service of summons and notices as well as the conduct of videoconference hearings for small claims. The SC-PIO likewise announced that the Small Claims Forms has been updated with translations in Filipino.
The Rules on Expedited Procedures are announced to be prospective in application. The Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court En Banc and the SC-PIO are set to release copies of the Rules on Expedited Procedures once available.