WHEREAS, the Board finding it apt and timely to revisit the existing rules governing medical, death claims, and legal assistance of its members from the Association, has constituted a Committee who after making some consultations and deliberations, has submitted its report and recommendation to the Board of the Philippine Judges Association in its monthly meeting conducted at Sea Residences, Pasay City on July 28, 2016;
WHEREAS, the Board, after further discussion and deliberation on the Committee Report at the said Board meeting and its succeeding monthly board meetings, has introduced amendments to the Committee Report;
WHEREAS, the Board in its meeting at Century Park Sheraton, Manila, on September 23, 2016, has resolved to approve the recommended New Rules on Claims of the Philippine Judges Association as follows:
Section 1. Coverage. The New Rules on Claims shall cover only those member-judges who allow the necessary deduction from their salary as monthly contribution to the following funds: Medical Fund in the amount of Three Hundred Pesos (P300.00), Abuloyan Fund in the amount of Two Hundred Pesos (P200.00), and Legal Assistance Fund in the amount of Fifty Pesos (P50.00), and shall be entitled to the benefits as herein provided.
Section 2. Medical Claims. Member-judges shall be entitled to medical benefits for any ailment requiring hospitalization and/or confinement as follows:
a) A member-judge may claim on an ANNUAL BASIS, a total of:
1. P30,000.00 for the member-judge;
2. P15,000.00 for the spouse of the member-judge;
3. P10,000.00 for minor children of the member-judge;
4. P10,000.00 for parents of unmarried member-judge, provided that the member-judge has no children and the parents concerned are his/her dependent.
b) A member-judge may avail of the claims on hospitalization for himself/herself and his/her spouse, minor children, and/or dependent-parents (when applicable) simultaneously or alternately should they incur hospitalization expenses, for a period of one (1) calendar year, arising from any illness which require hospital confinement and/or out-patient hospital procedures requiring surgery, but only within the amounts herein specified.
c) For spouses who are both member-judges of PJA and both contributing to the funds, each may claim as the affected member-Judge and as spouse of the member judge should the said affected judge may happen to be hospitalized and/or confined for any ailment within the same calendar year.
d) Only the actual medical expense shall be reimbursed to the member-judge claimant. If the medical expenses incurred should be less than amount stated above, only the amount reflected in the receipts will be reimbursed.
e) Only medical expenses relating to hospital confinements arising from illness or injury may be reimbursed. For purposes of this provision, provided the member-judge has suffered illness or injury, medical procedures which require hospital facilities, e.g. operating room, shall be considered reimbursable even when the operation/surgery or medical procedure is done as out-patient.
f) A member-judge who is promoted to the third level court shall no longer be entitled to any medical benefits under these rules. The member-judge may, however, claim for medical benefits under these rules provided that the ailment and hospitalization and/or confinement was incurred prior to his promotion and that the claim is filed with the ninety (90) day period to submit such claim.
g) A member-judge who is dismissed from service shall no longer be entitled to claim any benefit under these rules.
h) Within ninety (90) days after the last day of hospitalization and/or confinement, the following documents must be submitted:
1. Letter request
2. Original/certified true copies of the hospital’s statement of account, laboratories and official receipts of payments made and medicines purchased.
i) The following claims shall NOT be reimbursable:
1. Professional medical fees.
2. Medical claims arising from out-patient consultations, check-up, and minor treatment.
3. Over-the-counter medication
4. Medical aids such as, but not limited to eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, crutches, wheel chair, etc.
5. Cosmetic surgery
6. Dental procedures
7. Executive check-up, with or without hospital confinement, and
8. Others of similar nature
PET (Positron Emission Tomography) Scan with doctor’s advice and only up to the amount of P5,000.00 and this amount is deductible to P30,000.00;
Section 3. Death Claims. Member-judges shall be entitled to death claim as follows:
a) A member-judge shall be entitled to the following:
1. P60,000.00 – for the death of the member-judge,
2. P50,000.00 – for the death of the spouse of the member-judge,
3. P50,000.00 – for the death of a parent of an unmarried/single member-judge,
b) Each of the foregoing death claim benefits may only be availed of once. If a member-judge has availed of this claim for a deceased spouse and later re-marry, the member-judge can no longer claim for death benefits for the second wife. Similarly, if an unmarried member-judge has claimed death benefits for the death of a parent, and later marries, said member-judge can no longer claim death benefits should his/her spouse die.
c) Should a member-judge who has claimed death benefits for his/her spouse or parent, as the case may be, die in service, his/her heirs shall still be entitled the death benefit of P60,000.00.
d) The following supporting documents are required:
e) If a member-judge who has retired or has been dismissed from the service dies within sixty (60) days from his/her retirement date or dismissal from service, his/her bereaved family shall be entitled to death claim herein mentioned.
f) But irrespective of the number of years that he/she has retired, upon notice to the PJA of his/her death, a former member-judge may be entitled to a funeral wreath during wake.
Section 4. Legal Assistance. Member-judges shall be entitled to a legal assistance as follows:
a) Member-judge can avail of fund assistance only once an administrative charge against him has been referred to a third level Court magistrate for formal investigation.
b) Claim for each administrative case may be availed of only once for the maximum amount of P15,000.00, to be paid in the following manner: P7,500.00 – 1st tranche at the start of the investigation proceedings with the third level court magistrate; and another P7,500.00 – 2nd tranche, upon submission of the resolution or order of dismissal for the administrative complaint.
c) Only a maximum amount of P15,000.00 per year may be claimed irregardless of the number of administrative cases filed against the member judge.
d) The following supporting documents must be submitted:
1. Certified true copy of the administrative complaint and comment
2. Copy of the resolution recommending the case for investigation
3. Official receipt – payment of the legal/attorney’s fees
4. Copy of the resolution dismissing the complaint
5. Letter request of the member-judge
e) Claims should be filed not later than ninety (90) days from date of receipt of the Supreme Court resolution referring the administrative investigation to a third level magistrate.
f) ALL CLAIMS (after evaluation) WILL BE GRANTED ON A FIRST IN-FIRST OUT BASIS.
Section 1. The Regular Annual General Membership Meeting. The regular annual meeting of all members shall be held in Metro Manila in any day of October of the year. The midterm convention shall be held on the year following the general elections, the venue of which shall be determined by the Board of Directors and Officers in a meeting called for that purpose.
Section 2. Special General Membership Meeting. A Special General Membership Meeting may be called as the need arises by the Board of Directors and Officers or the President or upon petition of 1/3 of the general membership to discuss urgent matters.
Section 3. Notices. Notices of the date and place of annual and special meetings of the members shall be given either personally, or by special delivery mail, or by e-mail and/or through the PJA website that may be created, at least two (2) weeks before the date set for such meeting. In urgent cases, the notice may be communicated at least two (2) days before the meeting, personally, or by telephone, or if contact is not possible, by telegram, or any means of communication. The notice of every special meeting shall state briefly the purpose(s) of the meeting. Other matters not included in the agenda may be considered at such meeting with the consent of all the members present thereat.
Section 4. Waiver of Notice. Notice of meeting may be waived verbally or in writing by any member.
Section 5. Quorum. A quorum for any meeting of the members shall consist of a majority of the members and a majority of such quorum may decide on any question or issue at the meeting except those matters where the Corporation Code or these by-laws specifically require the affirmative vote of a greater number.
Section 6. Order of Business. The order of business at the annual meeting of the members shall be as follows:
The Order of business at any meeting may be changed by the President, or by the Board of Directors and Officers, by specifically indicating in the notice of agenda prepared in advance the desired changes or by a vote of a majority of the members present at the meeting.
Section 1. Board of Directors and Officers. The corporate powers of the association shall be exercised, its business conducted, and its property controlled by the Board of Directors and Officers.
Section 2. Qualification of National Officers. To qualify as a candidate for the position mentioned in Sec. 1, Article III (National Officers):
(i) He must be a member of the Association in good standing;
(ii) He must have been a judge of the Regional Trial Court, Sharia District Courts, and all such other courts of equal or similar jurisdictions as may hereafter be created by law for at least two (2) years and subject to the condition that the judge must have attended at least one (1) PJA convention.
A member in good standing is one who is not delinquent in the payment of annual membership fees, dues, and other assessments that maybe imposed by the Association immediately preceding the national elections unless his absence is justified.
Section 3. Qualification of Regional Directors. No member shall be eligible for election as Regional Director unless he/she has the following qualifications:
(i) He represents the Judicial Region or cluster authorized to be represented in the Board of Directors and Officers;
(ii) He has been a bonafide member of the Association in good standing.
(iii) He is an incumbent Judge of either RTC, Sharia District Courts, and all such other courts or cluster of equal or similar jurisdictions as may hereafter be created by law.
(iv) He has been a member of the PJA for at least two (2) years and subject to the condition that the judge must have attended at least one PJA convention.
Section 4. Disqualification. No member under indefinite suspension pursuant to a written Order of the Supreme Court, or one who has been convicted of a serious offense in an administrative case shall, within 4 years from date of conviction, qualify as a national officer or regional director of the Association.
Section 5. Vacancy. In case of vacancy in any of the position of National Officers, the Deputy officially appointed shall immediately take over to prevent hiatus in the position. The President shall thereafter appoint the Deputy of such position from among those recommended by the Board, in consonance with Section 2, Article III of the By-Laws (Term of Office).
Section 5. Meetings. The Board of Directors and Officers shall meet six (6) times in a year, unless the Board or the President decides, in the exigency of service, to call another meeting to discuss an important and urgent matter.
If the National Officer is absent during the meeting, the Deputy may be allowed to vote on issues. If available and viable at a given time, teleconferencing maybe resorted and an officer that effectively participates therein shall be considered and accounted for in the determination of a quorum.
Section 1. The Officers of the Association shall include the President, Executive Vice-President, Senior Vice-President, Vice-President for Administration, Vice-President for External Affairs, Vice-President for Internal Affairs, Vice-President for Research and Judicial Education, Vice-President for Legal Affairs, Vice-President for Special Projects, Vice-President for Finance, Secretary General, Treasurer, Auditor, Public Relations Officers, and Business Manager, to be elected by the general membership. There shall also be such number of directors representing the different Judicial Regions and clusters in the Philippines, not less than fifteen, elected by the members of the region and cluster so represented.
Section 2. Term of Office. All officers of the association shall hold office for two (2) years and until their successors is duly elected and qualified. Only incumbent members in good standing may become officers. An officer who had transferred to other agencies, or had been promoted, resigned, retired or terminated from service shall automatically be considered resigned as officer of the association and shall be replaced automatically by the officer next in line of succession or in the absence thereof, either by election or appointment, as provided herein.
Section 3. Removal/Expulsion from Office. A National Officer/Regional Director shall be deemed resigned if he incurs three (3) consecutive absences from board meetings, unless his absence is justified as determined by the Board.
Section 1. President. The President shall be the chief executive of the Association.
Section 2. Executive Vice-President. In the absence or incapacity of the President, the Executive Vice-President, shall perform the duties of the President and such other duties as may be assigned by the President and the Board of Directors/Officers.
Section 3. Senior Vice-President. In the absence or incapacity of the Executive Vice-President to act in accordance with the preceding section, the Senior Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President and such other duties as the President and the Board of Directors and Officers may assign.
Section 4. Vice-President for Administration. In the absence or incapacity of the Executive Vice-President and of the Senior Vice-President, to act as such in accordance with Section 2 and Section 3, the Vice-President for Administration shall perform the duties of the President and shall be responsible for the management of the abuloyan program, group insurance and welfare programs of the association and perform such other duties as the President and the Board of Directors/Officers may assign.
Section 5. Vice-President for External Affairs. The Vice-President for External Affairs shall be responsible for the participation of the association in conventions, seminars, and other activities of their associations as approved by the Board of Directors and Officers, and perform such other duties as the President and the Board of Trustees may assign.
Section 6. Vice-President for Internal Affairs. The Vice-President for Internal Affairs shall be responsible for membership development and for the drawing up of programs designed to enhance the fraternal bond among the members and coordinate with the regional/local RTC Judges Associations.
Section 7. Vice-President for Research and Judicial Education. The Vice-President for Research and Judicial Education shall be responsible for the design and scheduling of professional development programs for the member of the association and shall perform such other duties as the President and the board of Directors and Officers may assign.
Section 8. Vice-President for Legal Affairs. The Vice-President for Legal Affairs shall act as the General Counsel and Parliamentarian of the Association. Whenever requested and upon assignment by the President and the Board of Directors/Officers, render legal service and assist members with pending administrative cases, and perform such other duties as the President and the Board of Directors and Officers may assign.
Section 9. Vice-President for Special Projects. The Vice-President for Special Projects shall be responsible for the implementation of the housing program and other special projects of the association, and shall perform such other duties as the President and the Board of Directors and Officers may assign.
Section 10. Vice-President for Finance. The Vice-President for Finance shall be responsible for raising funds for the association for special projects and other needs, and perform such other duties as the President and the Board of Directors/Officers may assign.
Section 11. Secretary-General. The Secretary General shall attend all meetings of the Board of Directors and Officer and keep a record of all proceedings, prepare and maintain a membership roll of the Association, and act as the custodian of all records of the association, and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the President and the Board of Directors and Officers.
Section 12. Treasurer-General. The Treasurer shall collect and maintain under the direction of the Board of Directors and Officers, all funds of the Association, keep proper books of accounts and render reports of receipts and disbursements, and perform such other duties as may be assigned by the President and the Board of Directors and Officers.
Section 13. Public Relations Officer. The Public Relations Officer shall coordinate with the media and arrange public relations meetings of the association.
Section 14. Business Manager. The Business Manager shall be responsible for the organization and management of the activities of the association as determined by the Board of Directors/Officers.
Section 15. The Executive Committee. There shall be an Executive Committee of seven (7) composed of the President as Chairman and six (6) other members chosen by the majority members of the Board of Directors and officers from among themselves, the duties and functions of which shall be defined by the Board of Directors and Officers, provided that majority of the members of the EXECOM shall be from the NCR and provided further that Visayas and Mindanao shall also be represented.
Any and all resolution, and matters taken up by EXECOM shall be subject to ratification by the Board and Officers during the regular meeting immediately following the EXECOM meeting.
Section 1. Qualifications. The membership of the Association shall be limited to incumbents of the Regional Trial Courts, Sharia District Courts, and all such other courts of equal or similar jurisdiction as may be hereafter be created by law.
Section 2. Special or Honorary Member. An honorary membership may be conferred by the Association to former RTC Judges, who have been promoted or transferred to higher positions; provided, that they shall not be entitled to the medical benefits granted to PJA members, nor have they the right to vote and to be voted upon to any elective or appointed position.
Section 3. Rights of Members. A member shall have the following rights:
Section 4. Duties and Responsibilities of the Members. A member shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
Section 1. Funds. The funds of the association shall be derived from membership fees, annual dues and special assessments of members, donations or benefits not otherwise contrary to any existing law.
Section 2. Fees and Dues. Every member of the association shall in addition to the membership fee of P1,000.00, which shall be paid upon assumption of office, pay annual dues of P500.00 on or before the 15th day of March every year, beginning 1999 and such other dues and/or assessments that may be imposed by the Board of Directors and Officers from time to time, subject to the approval of the general membership.
Section 3. Calendar Year. The calendar year of the association shall be from January 1 of the current year to December of the same year.
Section 4. Disbursements. Withdrawal from the funds of the association, whether by check or any other instrument shall be jointly signed by the Treasurer and the President or such other officers as may be authorized by the Board of Directors and Officers.
Section 1. Form. The Corporate seal of the association shall be in such form and design as may be determined by the Board. Pending any change in the design, the seal of the Association adopted before the Articles of Incorporation are registered with the SEC shall remain the official seal of the Association.
Section 2. Publication. The Association shall publish an annual publication with the assistance of an editorial committee whose members shall be chosen by the Board of Directors and Officers.
Section 1. Elections. The general election of National Officers and Regional Directors mentioned in Section 1, Article III hereof shall be held every two (2) years, which should not coincide with the regular annual convention.
The members shall personally cast their votes in the designated polling precincts which shall be established in the different judicial regions. The association hereby adopts an automated system of election and shall observe the procedures used in the Automated PJA Elections of December 3, 2015, as may be modified by the PJA Board. In this connection, the association shall request the MISO – Supreme Court of the Philippines to assist the association in conducting its automated election.
Section 2. Election Day. Election of National Officers shall be heled on the 1st Wednesday of December, and every two (2) years thereafter.
The Regional Directors shall be elected and/or chosen by the members of the region or cluster on/or before the date of the election of the National Officers, and every two (2) years thereafter.
Section 3. Committee on Elections. For purposes of the election, an ad hoc Committee on Elections (COMELEC) shall be created at least sixty (60) days before the scheduled date of election. The Committee shall be composed of a Chairperson and two (2) members, preferably an incumbent or a retired Justice of the Court of Appeals, to be chosen by the Board of Directors and Officers. The members of the COMELEC shall be officially presented to the Body during the Regular Annual Convention.
Section 4. Certificates of Candidacy. The certificates of candidacy shall be filed with the COMELEC on or before 12:00 noon of the second day of the Regular Annual convention, prior to the commencement of the Business Meeting.
Section 5. Powers of the COMELEC. The COMELEC shall formulate rules and guidelines governing the manner and conduct of elections and shall be guided by the Supreme Court Circulars relating to the election of PJA Officers. It shall have the sole authority to decide on all matters concerning the eligibility of voters, qualifications or disqualifications of candidates, as well as issues or controversies relating to the elections, such as but not limited to, the nomination and/or filing of certificates of candidacy or any violation of the election rules. It shall supervise the canvassing and tallying of votes and declare the winning candidates. The COMELEC shall act as a collegial body and the decision of the COMELEC shall be final and executory.
Section 6. Campaign Period. The candidates shall be presented during the Business Meeting of the PJA Regular Annual Convention. This shall signal the start of the campaign period which shall end on the day immediately preceding the date of the election. The candidates who shall be found violating the campaign period shall be automatically disqualified.
Section 1. Amendments. These by-laws, or any provision thereof, may be amended or repealed by a majority vote of the Board of Directors and Officers, and ratified by 2/3 of the members present at any regular or special meeting duly held for the purpose.