The Supreme Court en banc has approved the recommendation made by the Office of the Court Administrator and Associate Justice Diosdado M. Peralta, chairman of the Special Committee on Small Claims Cases, to increase the limit of small claims cases that can be filed before the Metropolitan Trial Courts from P300,000.00 to P400,000.00. The new cap will take effect on April 1, 2019.

To provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the disposition of small claims cases, the SC, in 2010, came up with the Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases to all first level courts in the country for money claims amounting to not more than P100,000. The limit was subsequently raised to P200,000 in 2015 and to P300,000 last year.

“The reform also decreases cost on the part of the claimant by approximately 20 percent, since attorney’s fees are no longer necessary given that lawyers are not allowed to represent a party in small claims cases,” the SC said, in a statement.

This development, according to Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, will benefit small entrepreneurs using the court system and result in an increase in the country’s ranking in the World Bank Doing Business Survey.” He added that “this reform is one of the initiatives of the government to promote Ease of Doing Business.”

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