A.M. No. 01-1-07-SC, October 16, 2001

EN BANC

[ A.M. No. 01-1-07-SC, October 16, 2001 ]

RE: GUIDELINES IN THE ACCREDITATION OF NEWSPAPER AND PERIODICALS AND IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF LEGAL NOTICES AND ADVERTISEMENT FOR PUBLICATION

RESOLUTION

GUIDELINES IN THE ACCREDITATION OF NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS SEEKING TO PUBLISH JUDICIAL AND LEGAL NOTICES AND OTHER SIMILAR ANNOUNCEMENTS AND IN THE RAFFLE THEREOFThe concern has been expressed by various sectors that despite circulars and other issuances of Supreme Court, there remain variances in the application and implementation by the Executive Judges of the Regional Trial Courts of the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1079 (Revising and Consolidating All Laws and Decree Regulating the Publication of Judicial Notices, Advertisements for Public Buildings, Notices of Auction Sales and Other Similar Notices). To ensure uniform compliance with the said law and to protect the interests of the public, in general, and of the litigants, in particular, the following guidelines are set forth for all concerned.

I. Accreditation

SECTION 1. Scope of application. - These Guidelines apply only in cases where judicial or legal notices are to be published in newspapers or periodicals that are of general circulation in a particular province or city.

Publication of notices for national dissemination may be published in newspapers or periodicals with national circulation without need of accreditation.

SEC. 2. Requirement of accreditation.- Only accredited newspapers or periodicals may publish judicial or legal notices.

SEC. 3. Application for accreditation. - A verified applications for accreditation may be filed with the office of the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court having administrative supervision over the courts whose orders are to be published.

(a) The application shall include complete and accurate information on the following:

(1) Title of publication;

(2) Name of publisher;

(3) Name of the editor-in-chief

(4) Frequency of publication;

(5) Address, telephone number and fax machine number (if any), of the principal office;

(6) Total number of copies printed (as of the date of application for accreditation); and

(7) Month, date and year of first issue.

(b) A newspaper or periodical has its principal office in the address registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or with the Department of Trade and Industry.

(c) A newspaper or periodical which has its principal office in any of the cities or municipalities in a province may be accredited by any one or all of the Regional Trial Court Executive Judges in the province, provided that all requisites for accreditation are complied with.

A newspaper or periodical which has its principal office in any of the cities or municipalities in the National Capital Region may be accredited by any one or all of the Regional Trial Court Executive Judges therein, provided that it satisfies all the requirements for accreditation.

(d) The application for accreditation shall include statements on the following:

(1) That the applicant is duly registered as a newspaper or periodical;

(2) That the newspaper or periodical is edited, published and circulated in the province or city where accreditation is sought;

(3) That the newspaper or periodical has been regularly published for at least one (1) year before the date of the application for accreditation;

(4) That the newspaper or periodical is not participating in the raffle of legal and judicial notices in other provinces and/or cities;

(5) That the newspaper or periodical does not merely reproduce or reprint news pages of other newspapers or periodicals within the region of the province or city of the Regional Trial Court involved.

(c) The application for accreditation shall be accompanied by the following:

(1) Three (3) sample copies of the newspaper's periodical's printed format for legal and judicial notices following the requisites prescribed by Section 4 of P.D. No. 1079, to wit:

(a) Font size - eight (8) points for the text or less, and not more than ten (10) points for the heading:

(b) Column with - more but nor less than nine (9) ems; and

(c) Copy of an issue of the newspaper containing commercial, advertisement published in the last twelve (12) months;

(2) Copy of an issue of the newspaper containing commercial advertisement published in the last twelve (12) months;

(3) Certified true copy of contract or insertion or invoice describing the size and rate advertisement; and

(4) Certified true copy of a newspaper official receipt showing payment per contracted advertising rate.

SEC. 4. Application fees. - A fee shall be collected in an amount to be fixed by the Office of the Court Administrator for every application for accreditation filed with the Regional Trial Court.

SEC. 5. Non-compliance with requirements.- Any application for accreditation that fails to comply with any of the requirements prescribed by the proceeding provisions shall be denied without further evaluation.

SEC. 6. Evaluation and approval of applicants.- An application for accreditation shall be evaluated and approved by the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court having administrative supervision over the courts whose orders are to be published, taking into consideration the following criteria.

(a) The applicant is duly registered as a newspaper or periodical;

(b) The applicant must have its principal office in and must be of general circulation in the city/or province where it seeks accreditation.

A newspaper or periodical is of general circulation if it is published for the dissemination of local news and general information (nor for a limited interest group); it has a bona fide subscription list of paying subscribers; and it is published at regular intervals. (Fortune Motors (Phils.), Inc. vs. Metropolitan Bank and Trust Inc. et al., G.R. No. 115068, November 28, 1996, 265 SCRA 72).

(c) The newspaper or principal must have been regularly published for at least one (1) year before the date of the application; and after accreditation before the date of each and every raffle participated in by the accredited publication. A newspaper or periodical is regularly published if it comes out with 365 or 52 issues for those issued daily or weekly, respectively

(d) The newspaper or periodical must not merely reproduce or reprint news pages of other newspapers or periodicals within the region of the province or city of the Regional Trial Court involved.

SEC. 7. Absence of qualified newspapers or periodicals. - In the event that there is no newspaper or periodical qualified to be accredited in the station of the Regional Trial Court, the qualified publication in the nearest city or province may be accredited.

SEC. 8. Period of validity of accreditation. - The accreditation shall be valid for a period of five (5) years from date of approval of the application for accreditation. During the five-year period, however, the accreditation may be suspended or revoked in accordance with section 16 of these Guidelines.

SEC. 9. Posting of names of accredited newspaper or publication. - The Executive Judge shall cause the posting of the names of the accredited newspaper or publication, the amount they charge per column inch and a sample of the maximum font and minimum column width prescribed by law in three (3) conspicuous places in the courthouse or Hall of Justice building.

II. Raffle

SEC. 10. Requirement of raffle. - All notices, announcements and advertisements subject hereof shall be distributed for publication to accredited newspapers or periodicals by raffle. No such notices, announcements and advertisements may be assigned for publication without being raffled.

The raffle of judicial or legal justices for publication shall be included in the regular raffle of cases, provided that special raffles may be conducted for notices that need to be published before the regular raffle could be conducted.

The posting of judicial notices for publication, the raffle procedure and the publication of the results thereof shall be conducted in the same manner as the raffle of cases as provided in the Manual for Clerks of Court. All accredited newspapers or periodicals shall as much as possible be assigned an equal number of notices to publish but the same must be done thru raffle.

SEC. 11. Directive to the branch clerk of court. - Orders issued by judges in cases that require publication of any notice or notices shall include a directive to the Branch Clerk of Court instructing the latter to furnish the Office of the Clerk of Court with a copy of the order so that such notice may be published in accordance with the provisions of P. D. No. 1079.

SEC. 12. When raffle not necessary. - The distribution by raffle of notices, announcements and advertisements for publication shall be dispensed with in case there is only one accredited newspaper or periodical in a particular province, city or municipality.

III. Rates of Publication

SEC. 13. Rates of publication charges. - Newspapers or periodicals whose regular commercial rates are lower than ten (P10) pesos per column inch shall not charge below ten (P10) pesos per column inch of the notices, announcements and advertisements. In case of newspapers or periodicals that do not carry commercial display advertising, the rate for the publication of notices, announcements and advertisements shall be fixed at ten (P10) pesos per column inch. Newspapers or periodicals may only charge more than ten (P10) pesos up to eighty (80%) percent of their regular commercial display advertising rates when there is proper and adequate proof that the rate claimed is the regular commercial advertising rate.

SEC. 14. Determination of rates of publication charges. - The Executive Judge shall determine the allowable rates as mentioned in the preceding Section, using as basis the contracts and proofs of payment submitted by the publishers.

IV. Font Sizes and Column Width

SEC. 15. Samples of font sizes and column width. - The Office of the Court Administrator shall issue the appropriate order indicating the samples of the maximum font sizes and minimum column width for notices, announcements and advertisements.

V. Revocation of Accreditation

SEC. 16. When accreditation may be suspended or revoked. - The. Executive Judge may suspend or revoke the accreditation of a newspaper or periodical when it is established in a summary hearing that the said newspaper or periodical no longer complies with the requirements for an accredited newspaper or periodical as prescribed herein or has violated any of the provisions of P.D. No. 1079.

VI. Appeal

SEC. 17. Appeal to the Office of the Court Administrator. - Appeals in the grant and denial of accreditation or in the suspension or revocation of accreditation may be brought before the Office of the Court Administrator by the aggrieved party. The decision of the Court Administrator shall be final.

The Guidelines prescribed in this Resolution shall take effect on November 7, 2001 after fifteen (15) days following its publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

Promulgated this 16th day of October, 2001.

(Sgd.) HILARIO G. DAVIDE, JR.
Chief Justice
(Sgd.) JOSUE N. BELLOSILLO
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) JOSE A.R. MELO
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) REYNATO S. PUNO
Associate Justice
(On official leave)
JOSE C. VITUG
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) SANTIAGO M. KAPUNAN
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) VICENTE V. MENDOZA
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) ARTEMIO V. PANGANIBAN
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) BERNARDO P. PARDO
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) ARTURO B. BUENA
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) SABINO R. DE LEON, JR.
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) ANGELINA SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ
Associate Justice

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