Alternative Dispute System OKd

Manila Bulletin, February 25, 2003 | Go to article overview

Alternative Dispute System OKd


Byline: BEN R. ROSARIO

The House of Representatives has approved on second reading the proposed Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Act of 2003 which would institutionalize out-ofcourt resolution of cases and unclog the countrys courts of at least one million cases that have remained unresolved in the past years.

Principally authored by Speaker Jose de Venecia and Reps. Marcelino Libanan (NPC, Eastern Samar), Aurelio Umali (Lakas, Nueva Ecija), Reynaldo Uy (LP, Western Samar), and Ismael Mathay III (Lakas, Quezon City), the bill provides for an "efficient, inexpensive, less contentious, and speedy" resolution of cases that carry penalties of not more than six years.

House Bill No. 5654 is expected to be approved on third and final reading within the next few days.

"This bill is the solution to the problem of about one million cases currently pending in the courts. Economic growth is hindered by the inability of the justice system to work efficiently, while routing the people's aspiration for genuine peace," De Venecia said.

According to De Venecia, the procedure has been tested in other countries to restore people's faith in the justice system.

The House leader said the proposed system would make the Philippines as an advanced model in institutionalizing non-adversarial processes of resolving conflicts and in developing a profound culture of peace.

Under the proposal, the Philippine Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution will be established to which the civil cases and minor criminal offenses will be referred to prior to possible docketing in the courts and the fiscal's office, said Rep. Amin, a former Regional Trial Court judge.

Amin added that the PCADR will be a self-sustaining organization and will have the participation of the private sector.

Uy, a medical doctor, explained that the measure is also designed to strengthen the Katarungang Pambarangay.

Rep. …

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