Agrarian Justice Delivery

One of the core programs of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) is the Agrarian Justice Delivery (AJD). DAR has the primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform cases and provide free legal assistance to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) involved. This is complemented with two AJD programs, namely: agrarian legal assistance (ALA) under the Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance (BALA) and adjudication of agrarian cases under the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB).
Under RA 6657, DAR is vested with the primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate reform matters and to extend free legal assistance to farmer-beneficiaries affected by agrarian cases. The delivery of agrarian justice has two features: the Agrarian Legal Assistance and Adjudication of Cases.

Agrarian legal assistance is comprised of resolution of agrarian law implementation (ALI) cases, ARB representation before judicial and quasi-judicial bodies, and mediation and conciliation. On the other hand, Adjudication of Cases involves the resolution of cases by the DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB) and any of its salas.

There are three types of cases under this program namely: judicial or court cases, quasi-judicial, and cases related to agrarian law implementation (ALI). The first two types involve representation of farmers by DAR lawyers before the regular courts and DAR Adjudication Board, respectively. The third type involves the administrative rendering of decision on exemption, conversion and retention.

The DAR at present utilizes more aggressive alternative dispute resolution techniques in mediation to reduce conflicts maturing into court cases. The general objective is to persuade the contending parties to settle their disputes amicably or out of court before the DAR.

Strategic Directives:

The legal sector intends to provide effective and timely support not only for agrarian reform frontliners in the field of operations and support services but also for the ARBs. Hence, to speed up the resolution of agrarian-related cases, the sector shall:
  • Put the legal framework in place to expedite the LAD process and undertake PBD lawyering;
  • Rationalize DAR lawyers’ and paralegals’ appreciation and decision on cases by developing common templates and legal outlines;
  • Improve capabilities of DAR lawyers and legal officers to adequately address AR challenges; and
  • Tap information and communication technology to enhance legal work.