Cebu City's barangay justice cited for 'Galing Pook' award
By Minerva BC Newman
Cebu City (25 February) -- Cebu City's Lupon Tagapamayapa (Barangay Justice System) has received recognition for its "outstanding and trailblazing local governance programs" by the Gawad Galing Pook Award. The Cebu City government is among the winners of the Galing Pook award which awarding rites will be held in Malacanang on February 28.
Galing Pook Award cited the City's strengthening its barangay justice system through the conduct of a series of capability building seminars to the 800 members of the Lupon Tagapamayapa on the various laws and rules and regulations of the Local Government Code on dispute settlement and other related laws to settle conflict and troubles at the barangay level.
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena congratulated councilor Edgardo Labella who handled the seminars for the Lupon mediators of the city's 80 barangays.
According to the mayor, from about 150 entries, Cebu City's "strengthening justice system project at the grassroots" was picked as among the top 19 finalists that were evaluated in November 2007, and among the 19, Cebu City was among the top 10 winners of the award.
In his presentation before a panel of judges, councilor Labella traced the history of Cebu City's Lupon project in July 2003 where it pioneered as the first in the country to implement the barangay justice system.
Labella also cited data from the DILG-7 that from 2004-2004, Cebu City Lupon has handled 37,063 cases and 26,694 of these were settled at the barangay level.
He said based on DILG analysis that for every case that the Lupon resolved at the barangay level, not only that it unclogged the regular courts' dockets, it also saves the government some P10,000.
Cebu City's Lupon has successfully mediated about 72% of all complaints received, hence the government has saved over P266-million in litigation expenses as well as saving the barangay folks financial and emotional stresses as cases are mediated at the barangay level.
With this success, Mayor Osmena will treat all 800 Lupon members to a diner as their reward and he wants them recognized locally. Labella on the other hand wants to initiate more training and seminars that include barangay budgeting, financing and tanod training on the limits of a warrant-less arrest.
Dr. Ercarnation Dano, president of the Liga ng mga Lupong Tagapamayapa was elated over the mayor's recognition of their role in promoting peace at the barangays. She added that there is still a lot to do and learn and welcomes all kinds of training that will improve their capability to mediate and resolve conflicts at the barangays. (PIA-Cebu) [top]