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ABOUT THE PHILIPPINE MEDIATION CENTER

Pursuant to Supreme Court en banc Resolution A.M. No. 01-10-5-SC-PHILJA, dated


October 16, 2001, and in line with the objectives of the Action Program for Judicial
Reforms (APJR) to decongest court dockets, among others, the Court prescribed
guidelines in institutionalizing and implementing the mediation program in the
Philippines. The same resolution designated the Philippine Judicial Academy as the
component unit of the Supreme Court for Court-Annexed Mediation and other Alternative
Dispute Resolution (ADR) Mechanisms, and established the Philippine Mediation Center
(PMC).
Pending the formal creation of a more organized and structured Philippine Mediation
Center, a Mediation Division at the Judicial Reforms Office of the Philippine Judicial
Academy-Supreme Court, was established to oversee and manage Mediation Center Units
all over the country.
Since its inception in 2001, the Mediation Center Units have grown from seventeen (17)
units in the National Capital Region to One Hundred Thirteen (113) Units located in Ten
(10) out of the Thirteen (13) Regions in the country.
An internship program is now on-going in Malolos Bulacan which shall serve as our
launching center in the Province of Bulacan. After the training and accreditation of the
Mediator/Interns, it is expected that the most if not all the Metropolitan Trial Courts
outside Malolos will have their own Mediation Units.
Preparations are also in full swing for the establishment of PMC Units in Zamboanga,
Tuguegarao, Dumaguete and Pangasinan.

What is mediation?
Mediation is a process of settling disputes with the assistance of an acceptable, impartial
and neutral third party called a mediator. The mediator helps parties identify issues and
develop proposals to resolve their disputes. Once the parties have arrived at a mutually
acceptable arrangement, the agreement becomes the basis for the courts decision on the
case.
This form of mediation is also known as court-annexed mediation since the case has already
been filed in court.
What is Judicial Dispute Resolution?
Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR) is another innovation in the Philippine court system. When
court-annexed mediation fails, the case is brought to the judge who then acts as a
conciliator, a neutral evaluator and a mediator. The judge will try to mediate the case. If the
judges intervention as a mediator succeeds, the case is concluded with a judgment based
on a compromise. If the dispute is still unresolved, then the case is referred to another
judge for trial. Both parties must now be prepared for litigation.
What cases are covered by mediation?
1. All civil cases, settlement of estates and cases covered by the Rule on Summary
Procedure. Typical cases would be collection of debts, ejectment of tenants in
apartment dwellings, and inheritance disputes among family members.

2. Cases cognizable by the Lupong Tagapamayapa under the Katarungang Pambarangay


Law such as disputes between neighbors of the same barangay over property.
3. The civil aspect of Batas Pambansa 22, which covers the debts paid through
bouncing checks.
4. The civil aspect of quasi-offenses under negligence like motor vehicle accidents that
has damaged the vehicle or injured passengers or pedestrians.
What cases are excluded from mediation?
Cases which cannot be compromised are not included, like legal separation or annulment of
marriage.
Can I or the other party refuse mediation?
No. Once the court determines that your case is mediatable, the parties are compelled to
appear before the Philippine Mediation Center (PMC) unit. If the complainant fails to appear
for mediation, the case may be dismissed. If the defendant is absent, the complainant may
be allowed to present their side in court without you. The court will then decide the case on
the basis of what was presented.
How will I benefit mediation?
Mediation has been proven to be a faster and certainly less expensive option for settling
disputes. Settlements have occurred in as little as one or two mediation sessions.
Mediation also provides for a fair resolution of your case. By jointly resolving the dispute,
both parties can come up as winners. But best of all, mediation has been proven to restore
relationships long disrupted by conflict. The process of mediation tackles the roots of
misunderstanding to help parties resolve their differences.
Where did this idea come from?
Mediation is rooted in our historical experience, in the time when disputing parties would
bring their conflict to the village elder for settlement. As a system, mediation can be found
in many indigenous cultures.
Does mediation replace the barangay system of justice?
No. Court-annexed mediation actually complements the Barangay Justice System
(Katarungang Pambarangay), probably the most familiar mode of mediation in the country,
in bringing a speedy and fair resolution to disputes. In this system, the barangay leaders act
as mediators between disputing parties within their constituency. The Barangay Justice
System attempts to prevent the case from even going to court. Court-annexed mediation
begins when there is a failure to mediate in the barangay level resulting in the filing of the
dispute in court. Mediation attempts to resolve the dispute without going into adversarial
proceedings. Courts will actually dismiss certain cases which have not passed through the
Katarungang Pambarangay.
How effective is mediation?
In the pilot project on mediation conducted by the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA),
85% of cases referred for mediation reached settlement. Surveys conducted after mediation
also revealed a high level of satisfaction among disputing parties in the outcome of their
case. Close to 100% of the parties involved complied with the agreement reached in
mediation.
How long will mediation take?

Parties are given 30 days for mediation sessions. The period may be extended to another 30
days to allow you to reach a compromise agreement.
How much will it cost me?
A mediation fee of P500.00 is collected by the Clerk of Court upon the filing of certain
pleadings in court. This fee will accrue to the Mediation Fund for the training of mediators,
payment of mediators fees and other operating expenses of the Philippine Mediation Center
(PMC). The fee will be collected upon the filing of the following pleadings:
IN CIVIL CASES:
1. Complaint
2. Answer with a mediatable counterclaim
IN CRIMINAL CASES:
1. Complaint/information for an offense falling under the Katarungang Pambarangay
Law
2. Complaint/information for violation of Batas Pambansa 22, estafa and libel where
damages are sought
3. Complaint/information for quasioffenses falling under Title 14 of the Revised Penal
Code.
What happens when I cant afford mediation?
You can ask your lawyer to allow you to avail of court services as a pauper litigant. If the
court approves, then mediation is free.
How is the confidentiality and privacy of my case guarded in mediation?
Sessions are strictly private and confidential. This is to encourage the needed openness and
spontaneity for effective communication in mediation. The mediator can not record the
proceedings in any manner other than taking down a few personal notes for guidance. Even
the trial court is not furnished these notes. Any information from a mediation session is in
fact inadmissible in court. Mediators can not be subpoenaed to reveal what happened during
these sessions either. All documents submitted by the parties will be returned to them after
mediation.