DAR’s New Systems Aim For Better Delivery Of Agrarian Justice

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LCMS WEB01For the last three years, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has been fully implementing its Legal Case Monitoring System (LCMS) nationwide, to ensure the efficient and effective delivery of agrarian justice in the implementation of the CARP.

The LCMS was created and implemented through the initiative and effort of the current administration’s legal sector under the helm of Undersecretary Anthony N. Paruñgao. Its development was outsourced to Ideyatech, Inc., the same software company that developed the legal systems of the Office of the Solicitor General, Court of Tax Appeals, Quezon City Hall of Justice, Small Claims Court, among others.

“The LCMS, which is the first of its kind and complexity in the country, is a major milestone for the DAR’s Legal Sector,” said Undersecretary Paruñgao.

“With this system, we have fundamentally changed the way we work, the way we measure our accomplishments, and even the way we prepare our budgets,” Paruñgao added.
According to Undersecretary Paruñgao, the LCMS is a web-based internal system for recording and monitoring various kinds of agrarian cases at the provincial, regional, and central offices of the DAR, including those lodged at the Adjudicators’ offices, as well as cases where DAR lawyers represent and defend clients before judicial and quasi-judicial bodies.

It also enabled DAR management a means of monitoring and tracking down the movement of specific or high profile cases and a near real-time report of the status of cases anywhere in the country, while generating summaries and detailed reports that can be accessed anywhere by authorized DAR officials. Starting January 2014, the Legal Sector no longer required written accomplishment reports to the Central Office, as all accomplishments were generated through the system.

Paruñgao was proud to note that one of the major features of LCMS is that it is multi-use and accessible over the internet. It utilizes barcode technology to ensure easy tracking and integrity of documents. The system has a built-in word processor where drafts can be written and reviewed by legal officers without the need to print each and every draft prior to finalisation.
In describing the LCMS, Undersecretary Paruñgao said that “it is therefore not just a comprehensive database, it is also a management and planning tool, a personnel performance indicator, and a new (web-based) work sharing or work coaching environment, all rolled into one.”

Undersecretary Paruñgao added though that the LCMS is an internal management tool. “Information that might be detrimental to the integrity of case decisions must of course be protected”, said Paruñgao.

The LCMS is just one of the systems that are introduced by the present administration to upgrade the delivery of agrarian justice. Other improvements made during the time of Paruñgao as head of the DAR legal sector include the revisions of rules and procedures making the adjudication system more efficient and transparent, and a customized set of classes for a special Mandatory Continuining Legal Education exclusively for DAR lawyers, among others.