Mahintana Foundation, Inc. (MFI) through the AusAid-supported “Grassroots Initiatives for Peace (GRIP) in Maasim Project, the local government of Maasim, and the Provincial Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) held a three-day Training-Seminar on Appropriate Dispute Resolution Process last November 18-20, 2009 at Family Country Hotel, General Santos City. A total of 76 participants from the 15 barangays of Maasim municipality in Sarangani Province attended the said undertaking.

The training-seminar intends to strengthen and enhance the knowledge, skills and attitudes of Lupong Tagapamayapa members and other Barangay leaders in dispute resolution arising in the community and in handling cases involving women and children.

The three-day activity primarily discussed proper procedures in the implementation of Katarungang Pambarangay Law (KPL) or the Barangay Justice System. KPL is the country’s response to the continuing global search for indigenous mediation structures capable of resolving disputes within a community and beyond the formal courts of justice.

Kamanga Brgy. Secretary Saida Kamid clarifies a point during the Open Forum.

Settling disputes amicably in the community level contribute to the overall promotion of peace and order in the country. “Among the purpose of the KPL is to lessen possible litigation expenses of both conflicting parties,” stressed Mr. Rodolfo Jerez from DILG during his input on KPL. Mr. Jerez is a member of the pool of resource speakers spearheaded by Ms. Mary Grace Santarin also from the DILG Provincial Office.

Apart from the KPL, other topics discussed by different resource speakers are: Anti-Violence Against Women and Children, Children in Conflict with the Law, Juvenile Justice System, Anti-Rape Law, and Rights Based Approach: A Gender Perspective Justice System.

Mr. Narciso Beceira Jr. elucidates the re-classification of rape from crime against chastity to a public crime during his input on “Anti-Rape Law.

The training-seminar is part of MFI’s “Grassroots Initiatives for Peace (GRIP) in Maasim Project, which aims to enhance barangay leaders and Lupon members’ skills in conflict resolution and management.

Moreover, the activity supports the capability building intervention of the DILG, dubbed: “Accessing Justice through protection of Human Rights and a Gender Responsive Barangay Justice System.” It is also part of the Department’s continuing effort to enhance the proficiency of the Barangay officials and the Lupon members in the performance of their mandated tasks and responsibilities in promoting good governance.

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