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PIA Press Release
2007/09/25

Samar farmer leaders train to be paralegals

Tacloban City (September 25) -- About thirty farmer leaders from the municipalities of Calbiga, Pinabacdao and Villareal recently a attended training on agrarian laws conducted by the Department of Agrarian Reform.

Mr. Jose Alsmith Soria, DAR Information Officer, said that the farmer leaders, during the two-day training dubbed as "Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Paralegal Orientation" the basic laws on agrarian reform particularly the rights and obligations of the tenants and landowners.

Mr. Soria added that the farmer leaders were also taught on how to assist farmer beneficiaries, landowners and other stakeholders in the recognition of their rights and how to exercise them in order to avoid legal problems, conflicts and differences.

More importantly, the farmer leaders were trained on how to assist agrarian reform beneficiaries and key stakeholders to gain access to information that will enable them to better understand agrarian reform laws.

As Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries paralegals, the farmer leaders who attended the training may serve as legal counselors representing a client during preliminary conferences or in the process of mediation giving pieces of advice to the latter.

ARB Paralegals are not authorized to mediate agrarian conflicts, this training was more beneficial to three participants who are chairmen of the Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee in their respective villages whose functions include mediation, conciliation or arbitration of agrarian conflicts and issues that are brought to their respective offices for resolution.

As Roderick Achazo, 34, of Barangay Parasanon in Pinabacdao town said that as BARC Chairman, he is now more confident in dealing with agrarian disputes brought to his office for resolution. Before said training, he revealed that he was apprehensive in handling such cases.

The participants expressed their gratitude to the resource speakers in the activity who were composed of the staff at the Legal Division of the Provincial Office of DAR in Catbalogan led by its chief Atty. Editha Casillar.

Ms. Fe Malinao of the DAR 8 Information and Education Division said that similar trainings will be conducted to selected farmer leaders in all the provinces of Eastern Visayas, in order to minimize the filing of agrarian related cases at the DAR Adjudication board. This is because cases will only be forwarded to the DAR Adjucication Board if these are not resolved at the barangay level. (PIA 8) [top]

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