TAGAYTAY CITY—Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary John Castriciones recently led the awarding of this year’s best performing legal offices throughout the country.
“These awards are given in recognition of their efforts and exemplary performance in resolving legal agrarian cases of farmers and in implementing agrarian reform matters,” Castriciones said.
“Resolving cases, mediation and legal representation are among the legal services we give our agrarian reform beneficiaries for free. We are stepping up our legal strategies and streamlining our legal procedures to help more farmers,” Castriciones added.
According to the Secretary, the department’ legal services has two major components namely, the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) and the Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance (BALA).
The DARAB is a quasi-judicial body that determines and adjudicates all agrarian reform matters involving implementation of agrarian reform, except those falling under the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Dept. of Agriculture (DA).
The BALA, on the other hand, deals with dispensing rules over all matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform.
The top five best performance with the most number of agrarian cases resolved by a region in a DARAB role were awarded to: 1) Region 8 with 1,868 resolved cases; 2) Region 3 with 1,659; 3) Region 6 with 1,378; 4) Region 7 with 973 and 5) Region 10 with 936 resolved cases.
The top five best performance with the most number of cases decided and submitted for resolution by a region in a BALA role were awarded to: 1) Region 11, 2) Region 1, 3) Cordillera Autonomous Region, 4) Region 9; and a tie for the fifth place for Regions 3 and 2.
A special citation was given to the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR) for having “zero backlog for 2017” agrarian law implementation (ALI) cases pending in their dockets.
According to Acuna, from January to June 2018 the DAR-CAR’s regional and provincial legal divisions have resolved 957 ALI cases.
At the provincial level, a total of 565 cases were resolved. Of this total resolved cases, Abra registered 88 resolved cases, Apayao with 28; Benguet has 176; Ifugao resolved 93; Kalinga resolved 96 and Mt. Province with 84 cases.
“At present, there are no pending cases for the whole region,” Acuna proudly said.
The awarding and recognition of DAR’s legal offices was one of the highlights during the department’s 2018 mid-year performance review and planning held at the Development Academy of the Phils. (DAP) on July 24-27 in Tagaytay City.
Photo 1: Secretary John Castriciones awards the citation to ARDO Venchito Mandap of Region 11 for getting the most number of cases decided and submitted for resolution by a region. Looking on are: Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Luis Meinrado Pangulayan and CAR Regional Director Virgilio Acuna whose region got a special award for zero agrarian legal cases pending in their dockets.
Photo 2: Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicator Virgilio Rosacay of Region 8 poses with the Secretary for besting other regions in the most number of agrarian cases resolved. Also in photo: Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Luis Meinrado Pangulayan.
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