Beefing Up the Legal Sector of the DAR Central Office

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Exam1          In order to sustain the accomplishments in the legal sector and to further decrease the backlog of pending cases, the Contingent Workforce for the Legal Sector (CWLS) Project was renewed this year with the aim of hiring 70 contract of service (COS) legal researchers (LRs) and 11 COS language editors (LEs) from September 16 to December 31, 2015.

          The Offices of the Undersecretary and Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs are at the helm of this Project, with the assistance of the Agrarian Reform Capacity Development Service (ARCDS). The latter facilitated the examination of twenty-four (24) applicants as legal researcher and thirteen (13) language editors on September 08, 2015 at the DAR-HRD Center.

           Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs Office Justin Vincent J. La Chica, gave a short recap about the project and bolstered the confidence of the examinees in preparation for the exam. He proceeded to the Administrative Conference Room and also gave a brief message to the language editor applicants before the examination proper.

           Upon the release of the results of the examination, 17 qualified for the legal researcher position while eleven (11) individuals passed as language editors although only eight (8) LEs pushed through with their applications.
            To be able to provide a substantive background on the areas of concern which the legal researchers will be constantly encountering during the lifetime of the Project, the Offices of Undersecretary and Assistant Secretary of Legal Affairs, conducted an orientation program on September 15, 2015 at the AVR Conference Room, with ARCDS providing technical assistance and facilitation skills. The orientation proper started with ASec. La Chica giving an in-depth discussion on Agrarian Reform, Agricultural Landholdings and Agrarian Law Implementation (ALI) Cases. Other speakers with corresponding topics were the following: Executive Director Roland Manalaysay on DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB) Matters; RARAD Roland Cua on Cancellation Rules, Atty. Repa Gallos on Conversion Rules, and Director Celestina Manlagñit-Tam of the Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance (BALA) on ALI Rules.

            Later that day, the newly-hired applicants were clustered into breakout groups at the ASec. Conference Room, Land Use Conversion Division (LUCD) and office of the Executive Director of DARAB where they were respectively given orientation on the office/s where they will be assigned. The orientation-program closed with the filling-in of the contracts of the LRs as they officially start their first day of office the following day - September 16, 2015.

1CWLS            The Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Office (ULAO), Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs Office (ALAO), and LUCD were each given five (5) legal researchers. Two (2) LRs, on the other hand, were appointed at the DARAB.

            USec. Luis Meinrado Pañgulayan concluded the program by giving a stirring talk on the significance of the researchers’ jobs on the lives of the farmers and landowners. He highlighted the importance of the cases that they will be handling, and how the drafted decisions of cases would affect the lives of these people who have been waiting years for their finalization.

           The CWLS is an intervention to provide additional legal support for the speedy resolution of agrarian cases as well as assist in finalizing backlogs of cases. At the conclusion of the five-month project (December 2014 to April 2015), substantial impact in the resolution of agrarian cases was observed in the different DAR central Legal offices. Thus, the renewal of the project this year.