Questionnaire on Proposed Reforms for Disposition of Cases under the Jurisdiction of Family Courts ( OCA Circular No. 44-15 )

March 04, 2015

March 4, 2015


TO : All Family Court Judges of the Second Level Courts
SUBJECT : Questionnaire on Proposed Reforms for Disposition of Cases under the Jurisdiction of Family Courts


The Committee on the Family Courts and Juvenile Concerns headed by Justice Teresita J. Leonardo-de Castro, is mandated to formulate the implementing rules and regulations and other rules of the Republic Act No. 8369, otherwise known as the Family Court Act of 1997.

To fulfill its mandate and to address the needed reforms for a speedier, more effective and efficient disposition of cases under the jurisdiction of the family courts, you are hereby DIRECTED to ACCOMPLISH the attached questionnaire and submit it either personally or by registered mail to the Court Management Office, c/o Atty. Marina B. Ching, OCA Chief of Office, 2nd Floor, Old SC Building, Supreme Court, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila, OR it may also be sent through facsimile number 632-536-9040 or e-mail to [email protected] or [email protected] (ATTENTION: QUESTIONNAIRE-FAMILY COURTS), within five (5) days from receipt hereof, and not later than 30 March 2015.

Your utmost cooperation in completing the survey questionnaire is hereby enjoined.

(SGD.) JOSE MIDAS P. MARQUEZCourt Administrator


Supreme Court of the Philippines

The Committee on the Family Courts and Juvenile Concerns, pursuant to its mandate under Supreme Court Memorandum Order No. 20-2014 dated August 13, 2014 has been given the duty to "formulate the Implementing Rules and Regulations and other rules for R.A. 8369" otherwise known as the Family Courts Act of 1997.

It has also been tasked to "draft plans for the organization of family courts to include (a) the creation/development of staffing pattern for family courts; (b) determination of number of courts that must be created under national legislation; (c) report on training needs assessment of all actors in [the] family and juvenile justice sector; (d) recommendations for infrastructure requirements for family courts; and (e) pilot family courts that will have ideal guidelines, resources, environment, facilities and staff for addressing family and juvenile justice concerns."

In addition, the Committee has been mandated to "monitor the implementation of the plan for the creation and organization of family courts including the identification of procedural rules and court guidelines, as well as judicial and legal forms that must be adopted to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of family courts." CHTAIc

This survey is a preliminary step in fulfilling this mandate of the Committee under the above-cited Supreme Court Memorandum Order No. 20-2014. Your cooperation in answering this questionnaire will contribute to the success of the work of the Committee in proposing to the Supreme Court En Banc the needed reforms to achieve a speedier, more effective and efficient disposition of cases under the jurisdiction of the Family Courts.

Name: _______________________________________ Age: ________

Station: ______________________________________ Sex: [ ] Male [ ] Female


A. Judges' Perception

1. How long have you been a Family Court judge? ___ years ___ months

2. How do you find your job?

[ ] good

[ ] fine

[ ] difficult

[ ] exciting

[ ] others (please specify) ________________________________

Why? _______________________________________________

3. If given the choice, what Court would you like to handle?

[ ] Regular Court

[ ] Family Court

[ ] Drugs Court

[ ] Commercial Court

[ ] Environmental Court

Why? ________________________________________________

B. Jurisdiction

4. Is the present scope of jurisdiction of the Family Court sufficient and clear as provided for in the Family Courts Act of 1997 (R.A. 8369)? [ ] Yes [ ] No

If your answer is yes, why? _________________________________

If your answer is no, why not? _______________________________

Please give your suggestion to remedy this: _____________________

C. Rules of Procedure

5. In implementing the Rules of Procedure for the Family Courts, have you encountered difficulty/difficulties? [ ] Yes [ ] No

If yes, what are these difficulties? _________________________________________________________

 Please give your solution:

[ ] need to amend existing Rules

[ ] too many Rules

[ ] need for more Rules

[ ] need for Rule on Protection Orders to apply to all cases

[ ] need for clear guidelines in cases for Recognition of Foreign Judgment

[ ] others (please specify) ____________________________________

D. Staffing Pattern

6. Is the current staffing pattern in the Family Court sufficient? [ ] Yes [ ] No

 If not, what does the court need?

[ ] a psychologist

[ ] a social worker assigned to the branch

[ ] additional staff

[ ] others (please specify) ____________________________________

E. Physical Set-Up and Arrangement

7. Does the physical arrangement of your branch enable the court to observe confidentiality in the proceedings thereof and sufficiently cater to the needs of the Family Court users as well? [ ] Yes [ ] No

 If not, what should be set-up or physically arranged to address these concerns?

[ ] holding area for children

[ ] all Family Courts should be on the same floor of the building

[ ] conference room for family mediation and interview

[ ] room for supervised visitation

[ ] rest room for children

[ ] others (please specify) ____________________________________

F. Special Equipment

8. Do you have live-link TV? [ ] Yes [ ] No

 Do you need one in your branch? [ ] Yes [ ] No [ ] Not necessary

 If you do not have a live-link TV and you have witnesses who are suffering from trauma, how do you enable them to testify in the presence of the accused? _______________________________

9. Is there any special equipment that the Family Courts need? [ ] Yes [ ] No

 If yes, what is this? _______________________________________

G. Case Disposition

10. Rate your average speed of monthly disposition of cases:

[ ] 1 the output exceeds the input/case inflow

[ ] 2 the output is equal to the input/case inflow

[ ] 3 the output is less than the input/case inflow

 If your answer is "3'', what are the reasons that prevent you from increasing your output _____________________________________

 Please give your suggestions to make case disposition faster.

1. ________________________________________________

2. ________________________________________________

H. Case Load

11. Are there enough Family Courts in your jurisdiction? [ ] Yes [ ] No

If yes, how many branches are there presently? ________

If not, how many branches are needed in your jurisdiction? _______

 What should be the basis in determining the number of Family Courts in each jurisdiction?

[ ] case load

[ ] case inflow

[ ] demographics (existing population and number of cases filed)

[ ] Others (Please specify) ___________________________________.

12. Is the case load in your Family Court higher than the regular courts in your jurisdiction? [ ] Yes [ ] No

 Why or Why Not? ________________________________________

 What is the average monthly case inflow in your branch?

[ ] 1-5 cases

[ ] 6-10 cases

[ ] 11-20 cases

[ ] 21-30 cases

[ ] 31-40 cases

[ ] 41-50 cases

[ ] 51 or more cases

13. What do you think is the ideal case load for the Family Courts? _____

I. Special Training

14. Have you been provided special training as a Family Court by the Philja? [ ] Yes [ ] No

 If yes, what are these? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 Have you been provided special training as a Family Court by other providers? [ ] Yes [ ] No

 If yes, please state name of provider and training given. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 Do you need further training and more seminars? [ ] Yes [ ] No.

 If yes, on what specific topics? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

J. Special Qualifications

15. Is there a need to provide special qualifications for Family Court judges? [ ] Yes [ ] No

 If yes, what are these?

[ ] college degree in Psychology

[ ] units in counselling

[ ] units in Psychology

[ ] others (please specify) ________________________________

K. Other Matters

16. Is there an established youth detention home or "Bahay Pag-asa" in your jurisdiction? [ ]Yes [ ] No

 If none, how do you address this problem? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 If yes, what is the extent of your access to the said facility? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

17. Is there an available shelter for victims of sexual abuse and violence in your jurisdiction? [ ] Yes [ ] No AaSTIH

 If none, where do you refer the victims to? _____________________

18. With all the needs in the Family Courts, what is the most urgent? Please rate them with 1 for most urgent and 10 for least urgent.

[ ] Jurisdiction of Family Courts need to be clarified

[ ] Rules of Procedure to be amended

[ ] New and special Rules of Procedure to be adopted

[ ] Additional staff

[ ] Family Courts have to be organized

[ ] More RTC's designated as Family Courts

[ ] Special Qualifications for Family Court judges

[ ] Case management and more effective monitoring system for Family Courts

[ ] Holding areas for children

[ ] New equipment for Family Courts

[ ] Others (please specify) ____________________________________

19. Are there other matters about the Family Courts that should be addressed? [ ] Yes [ ] No

 If yes, what are these? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

20. Please give suggestions on how to make our Family Courts more effective and more efficient. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________