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MANDALUYONG CITY – Barangays, being the country’s basic political unit, are at forefront of local governance, owing it to its strategic position being at the grassroots.

The Local Government Code of 1991 has given the barangays the role of amicably settling disputes at the community level as a means for people to reach resolutions on certain issues without having to burden neither their time nor their pockets, and likewise to unclog the dockets of the country’s judicial system.

But despite such efforts, a high rate of recurrence of cases involving the same parties, continue to plague the Barangay Justice System - with insufficient capacities amongst members of the Lupon Tagapamayapa in effectively facilitating mediation and conciliation pointed as one of the culprits to this prevailing problem.

In order to curb this issue and address identified competency gaps, the LGA in partnership with the Office for Alternative Dispute Resolution (OADR) of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the mandated agency in promoting the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), trained two batches of Lupon members on Basic ADR Skills. Brangays coming from Regions III, IV-A and NCR attended the training held on May 20-22, 2019, while the training for Regions III and IV-A was held on May 27-29, 2019 at the BSA Twin Towers, Mandaluyong City.

Participants were composed of the Punong Barangay, three (3) members of the Lupon, and the Barangay Secretary, with the first batch composed of barangays coming from urban areas and second batch coming from rural areas.

On the first day of lecture-discussion and structure learning exercises, participants were given a refresher course on the Katarungang Pambarangay (KP) law, understanding conflict, and various modes of settlement under the KP.

On the second day, groups were organized as participants share their current practices and challenges in implementing the KP law followed by a lecture-discussion on the skills for effective mediation, restorative justice and the barangay justice system.

During the program’s culmination, participants were engaged in true to life case simulation that gave opportunity for Lupon members to apply their learning and demonstrate their newly-sharpened mediations skills.

The Basic ADR Skills Training for Lupong Tagapamayapa is part of implementing the Barangay Newly Elected Officials (BNEO) towards Grassroots Renewal and Empowerment for Accountable and Transparent (GREAT) Barangays Program which aims to enhance capacities of the barangays in ensuring that the general welfare of their respective constituents and the delivery of basic services and facilities.

 

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