Feuding neighbors do not need to go to the courts right away to settle their disputes because they can seek help in their own barangays through their Lupong Tagapamayapa.
This was stressed by Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año during the 21st Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentives Awards (LTIA) ceremony held recently in Manila.
“Do not hesitate to go to the Lupong Tagapamayapa in your barangay if you become involved in a neighborhood spat. The Lupong Tagapamayapa can serve as the go-between which can help resolve your issues in a shorter period of time than when you go directly to court to seek redress. On top of that, you will also save money that you would have spent for litigation costs,” said Año.
Under the Local Government Code, there shall be a Lupong Tagapamayapa in each barangay composed of the punong barangay as chairman and 10 to 20 members who are residing or working in the barangay, are not otherwise expressly disqualified by law, and possessing integrity, impartiality, independence of mind, sense of fairness, and reputation for probity.
The lupon has the following functions: (a) Exercise administrative supervision over the conciliation panels (b) Meet regularly once a month to provide a forum for exchange of ideas among its members and the public on matters relevant to the amicable settlement of disputes, and to enable various conciliation panel members to share with one another their observations and experiences in effecting speedy resolution of disputes; and (c) Exercise such other powers and perform such other duties and functions as may be prescribed by law or ordinance.
Año said all disputes, civil and criminal in nature, where parties actually reside in the same city or municipality may be handled by the Lupong Tagapamayapa.
Among the cases that are within the bounds of authority of the lupong tagapamayapa are the following: alarms and scandals; less serious physical injuries; slight physical injuries and maltreatment; unlawful arrest; light and grave coercion; simple seduction; issuing checks without sufficient funds; removal, sale or pledge of mortgaged property; and qualified trespass to dwelling (without use of violence and intimidation).
Based on reports submitted to the DILG’s Bureau of Local Government Supervision, last year alone, the 39,322 lupons nationwide received a total of 468,682 cases, of which 75.82% or 355,392 cases were amicably settled by the lupons.
In the awarding ceremony, 12 outstanding lupong tagapamayapa were recognized for their excellent performance in settling neighborhood disputes.
Declared as Outstanding Lupong Tagapamayapa winners for 2019 are Barangay Calumpang Molo, Iloilo City (highly urbanized cities [HUC] category); Brgy. Milibili, Roxas City in Capiz (component cities category); Brgy. Poblacion, Tupi, South Cotabato (1st to third class municipalities); and Brgy. Umabay Exterior, Mobo in Masbate (4th to 6th class municipalities category).
Those who came first and second runner-ups in their corresponding categories are as follow: Barangay San Bartolome, Quezon City and Brgy. Doongan, Butuan City (HUC); Brgy. Telaje, Tandag City, Surigao del Sur and Brgy Cupang Proper, Balanga City, Bataan (component cities); Barangay Candelaria, Tapaz, Capiz and Brgy. Tipolo, Plaridel in Misamis Occidental (1st to 3rd class municipalities); and finally, Brgy Centro Weste, Libertad in Antique and Brgy. Ambassador, Tublay in Benguet (4th to 6th class cities).
Each of the four (4) National Winners from each category received a trophy and a cash prize of P300,000 while the first and second runner-ups each received a Plaque of Appreciation and a cash prize of P150,000 and P100,000, respectively.
“Congratulations to all our outstanding lupons! Continue to be the government’s partner in promoting justice in the communities,” said Año.
The winners were chosen by a National Board of Judges composed of the DILG and other agencies and stakeholders based on the following criteria: efficiency in operations of the lupong tagapamayapa; effectiveness in securing the settlement of interpersonal disputes; creativity and resourcefulness of the lupong tagapamayapa; area of facility for lupon activities, among others. ###