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What is the future of ADR in the Philippines?

By: Mymannah Lou O. Dimacaling

While looking for my old book in my cabinet, I accidentally saw an article, and it is all about the Supreme Court’s promotion of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism. 1 Then, I asked myself, what is ADR? I became curious about knowing what ADR is all about, and I looked for its meaning and contents. So, I found out, based on a study that 76% affirmed that ADR contributed to the ordinary citizens and the marginalized sectors access to justice. Sixty-nine percent (69%) thinks that there is fairness and justice in the mediation process, while 59% says there is fairness and justice in the mediation outcome.2 Because of that, I asked myself, is there a future for ADR in the Philippines? What is its future here in our country? Most likely, for the first question, I would say, yes, and that Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) will succeed in the future. Nowadays and from the past few years, ADR received compliments and favorable criticism from the people. Now, I will ask you, what is ADR? Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a method of solving disputes other than litigation or a way of settling disputes outside of the courtroom. It resolves arguments in a quick, inexpensive and flexible manner. Mediation, arbitration, negotiation, collaborative law and conciliation are the categories of ADR. It is a substitute or an alternative option given to party for not going in court. With the help of ADR, there is no need, for us, to go in court for the settlement of our dispute. Based from the article posted by Atty. Galacio, Republic Act 9285 is our country’s law providing for Alternative Dispute Resolution. ADR refers to any process or procedure used to resolve a dispute or controversy, other than by adjudication of a presiding judge of a court or an officer of a government agency, as defined in RA 9285, in which a neutral third party participates to assist in the resolution of issues, which includes arbitration, mediation, conciliation, early neutral evaluation, mini-trial, or any combination thereof.3 Categories of ADR First, I will discuss about Mediation. Mediation is an informal alternative to litigation. Mediators are individuals trained in negotiations, who bring opposing parties together and attempt to work out a settlement or agreement that both parties accept or reject. Mediation has become a significant method for resolving disputes between investors and their stock brokers.4 From the article posted by Atty. Galacio5, mediation of court cases was proven to be very successful. Civil cases and some criminal cases with respect to their civil aspect became the subject matter to court-referred mediation. It brought parties back to friendly relations, and it creates a winwin solution for all concerned.
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see http://jlp-law.com/blog/supreme-court-promotes-mediation-and-alternative-dispute-resolutionmechanisms/ 2 see http://jlp-law.com/blog/supreme-court-promotes-mediation-and-alternative-dispute-resolutionmechanisms/ 3 See http://famli.blogspot.com/2008/02/republic-act-9285-alternative-dispute.html 4 see http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/alternative_dispute_resolution 5 See http://famli.blogspot.com/2008/02/republic-act-9285-alternative-dispute.html

Consistent with the above-mentioned policy of encouraging alternative dispute resolution methods. 143581.. conciliation and negotiation––is encouraged by the Supreme Court. Moore.11 In one article of Cebu Daily news. Moore. January 7.. in compliance with Republic Act 9285. 2008 8 See Korea Technologies Co.uslegal. It will not only return the parties friendly relations. PH.inquirer. Alberto A. arbitration––along with mediation. http://www. 2003. Capitol Industrial Construction Groups.9 Collaborative law is the fourth category of ADR. the Department of Agrarian Reform conducted a series of trainings on alternative dispute resolution for lawyers. arbitration also hastens the resolution of disputes. In LM Power Engineering Corporation v. Aside from unclogging judicial dockets. 569-570.org/adr. GR. the counsel needs to assist the parties for the resolution of their disputes.net/119049/dar-holds-trainings-on-alternative-dispute-resolution . No. both parties and lawyers must withdraw from the representation. March 26. courts should liberally construe arbitration clauses. the court declared that:7 Being an inexpensive. is it better or not? The second category of ADR is arbitration. especially of the commercial kind. GR. this law applies in divorce cases. 143581. an order to arbitrate should be granted. Lerma.af. No. A contracted term exists between the parties and counsels.D.10 Also. In collaborative law. Arbitration.D. They sign an agreement which provides that if a contested motion or issue will arise. Korea Technologies Co. It is thus regarded as the “wave of the future” in international civil and commercial disputes. vs Hon.. 141833. LTD. In this category. legal officers and municipal agrarian reform officers in the Central Visayas.Mediation is the most commonplace form of ADR. Inc. but also. The parties engage the assistance of a neutral mediator to help them reach a negotiated agreement to resolve their differences without adjudication based from Hogan Lovells article.pdf 7 See G. January 7.htm 10 See http://definitions. Negotiation is one of the most common approaches used to make decisions and manage disputes. a person who can provide an unbiased opinion and can act either as a facilitator or a decision maker. It is also the major building block for many other alternative dispute resolution procedures.au.. the presence of a neutral person is in need.. Brushing aside a contractual agreement calling for arbitration between the parties would be a step backward.mil/au/awc/awcgate/army/usace/negotiation.com/c/collaborative-law/ 11 See http://www. Negotiation is the principal way that people redefine an old relationship that is not working to their satisfaction or establish a new relationship where none existed before. Any doubt should be resolved in favor of arbitration.8 The third category is negotiation. LTD. Lerma.6 It shows that mediation is helpful in settling disputes. Provided such clause is susceptible of an interpretation that covers the asserted dispute. 399 SCRA 562. Alberto A.html 12 See http://newsinfo. 2008 9 See Negotiation by Christopher w.com/files/Publication/dfe782b0-2cee-4480-8ecf548b287d0cd6/Presentation/PublicationAttachment/be8b2a76-54fa-48f1-86ca581b0ba6975a/Alternative_Dispute_Resolution.R. it can help to minimize cost among them. No. According to Christopher W..12 6 See Hogan Lovells : http://www.. speedy and amicable method of settling disputes.hg.hoganlovells. vs Hon. Ph.

It provides settlement for the resolution of a dispute. according to HG. personal injury situations.Org. the Commission on the Settlement of Land Problems.pdf .com/blog/supreme-court-promotes-mediation-and-alternative-dispute-resolutionmechanisms/ 16 See http://www.15 Also. 16 In the Philippines.go. Inc.Finally.hoganlovells. professional liability cases. the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB). depends on which category will be chosen by the parties. suggesting settlement options. These include divorces and other family matters.pdf 14 See http://jlp-law. insurance issues. the Philippine Construction Industry Arbitration Commission(CIAC). the Insurance Commission.ide.html 17 see http://d-arch. ADR provides relief. who often avoid legal matters due to sky-high cost of litigation and their perception that the law favors the rich and educated. for example. neutral party actively helps the parties to settle the dispute by. I know that these categories. as the Philippine judiciary continues to battle with hundreds of thousands of cases pending before it. the last category of ADR. ADR will not only benefit the rich people but also for those who are in the marginalized sector. the project has contributed to efforts to change the mindset of the poor and marginalized groups. Fred. the Cooperative Development Authority(CDA). marginalized sectors have gained hope that they too can have access to justice. and the Court-Annexed Pilot Mediation Project. According to Hogan Lovells article13.. the National Labor Relation Commission. Hence. and disputes. what can you say about these categories of ADR? From the article published by Atty. Soliman. speed up resolution of cases and there are agencies created by the government to settle some disputes for the benefit of the parties. will be helpful for them in the settlement of their disputes. there are twelve agencies that use ADR17. The term is widely used to describe the facilitated settlement discussions common in the employment arena. Also. It is an act which allows the parties to have an agreement with each other. it helps to attain justice in an inexpensive way. the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center. Seeing the success rate of ADR.com/files/Publication/dfe782b0-2cee-4480-8ecf548b287d0cd6/Presentation/PublicationAttachment/be8b2a76-54fa-48f1-86ca581b0ba6975a/Alternative_Dispute_Resolution. the Burea of Trade regulation and Consumer Protection. Bureau of Labor Relations.14 Furthermore. shared Atty. 13 See Hogan lovells: http://www.com/blog/supreme-court-promotes-mediation-and-alternative-dispute-resolutionmechanisms/ 15 See http://jlp-law. the Supreme Court of the Philippines through the Justice Reform Initiatives Support (JURIS) Project promotes the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms to help de-clog the court dockets. They are as follows: the Katarungang Pambarangay. the National Conciliation and Mediation Board.hg.jp/idedp/IAL/IAL001800_005. in the same article. it is conciliation which is likely similar with mediation. How about you.org/adr. ADR has proven very helpful in many different types of legal disputes.