Gov’t saves P3.1B through the barangay justice system PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 25 May 2014 14:33

The government has realized an estimated savings of P3.1-billion in court litigation costs last year through the implementation of the barangay justice system or Katarungang Pambarangay,  the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said in a statement.

The Katarungang Pambarangay (KP) is an alternative, community-based mechanism for dispute resolution of conflicts between members of the same community under the guidance of the punong barangay as the lupon chairperson, and without intervention of legal counsels and representatives.

Almost all civil disputes and every criminal offense punishable by imprisonment not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding P5,000 are subject to amicable settlement under the Katarungang Pambarangay, when parties involved are individuals who are residing in the same city or municipality.

Citing a report submitted by the Bureau of Local Government Supervision, Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas said the estimated savings of P3,107,678,000 was determined  as a result of the out-of-court settlement of a total of 327,124 disputes lodged before barangay lupons or lupong tagapamayapa throughout the country.  The estimated government cost of adjudication per case is P9,500, according to the Supreme Court.

Roxas said that a total of 425,263 cases were filed in the different lupons nationwide in 2013, of which 77 percent or 327,124 were settled, and only 23 percent or 98,139 were not.

Region 1 (Ilocos Region) accounted for the highest percentage of settled cases with 88.22 percent, followed by Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) with 87.28 percent, and Region IV-B (MIMAROPA) with 86.55 percent, he said.

According to the DILG Secretary, of the 327,124 settled cases, majority of the cases or 251,894 were settled through mediation, 63,651 through conciliation, and 11,579 through arbitration.

The nature of disputes included 161,562 criminal cases, 179,280 civil cases, and 84,421 others.

On the other hand, of the 98,139 unsettled cases, 35,898 are still ongoing, 2,606 were repudiated, 4,924 withdrawn, 32,588 dismissed, 5,177 referred to concerned agencies, and 16,946 issued a certification to file action in court.

“The DILG commends the lupong tagapamayapa all over the country not only for helping decongest the cases handled by regular courts, but more importantly, for ensuring that justice and the rule of law continue to reign in our communities,” said Roxas.

“Dapat bigyan ng pansin ang lahat ng kabababayan natin na humihingi ng katarungan. Ito ang susi sa ligtas at mapayapang komunidad,” he pointed out.

Every year, the DILG recognizes the outstanding lupong tagapamayapa in a ceremony usually held in Malacañan Palace for their exemplary performance in resolving petty disputes of their constituents, thereby contributing to the attainment of the objectives of the Katarungang Pambarangay (KP) program, and in the maintenance of peace and harmony in their respective villages.