DAR dispatches 37 new farmer-paralegal graduates to resolve Bukidnon land disputes

July 12, 2012 9:57 pm 

MANILA, July 12 — The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has dispatched 37 new farmer-paralegal graduates to man the legal frontline in a bid to resolve at least 10 most problematic landholdings in Bukidnon.

DAR Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes said the 37 newly farmer-paralegal graduates have committed to work on a total of 987 hectares of land, covering 10 problematic landholdings in the towns of Sumilao, Malaybalay, Maramag, Pangantucan and Quezon, all in Bukidnon province.

De los Reyes said the new graduates completed the four-month course in the Paralegal Training on Agrarian Reform Laws/Policies, Human Rights and Skills Enhancement on Agrarian Reform Implementation in Malaybalay and Maramag towns in Bukidnon. The course was slated from February 27 to June 15.

He said they would work together with DAR municipal operations and legal personnel, assist in the formulation of strategies to transform the problematic landholdings into workable ones.

De los Reyes said the farmer-paralegals are of great help because they provide vital information based on their experiences and observations in their own communities, from which DAR personnel could draw plans and strategies before going into the “fray.”

“The DAR provides them the legal theories and applications, while they give us the situational information on the ground,” he said.

The DAR Field Operations and Legal Affairs offices initiated the “Paralegal Formation Program,” in partnership with implementers of the Paralegal Education Skills Advancement and Networking Technology (PESANT), a consortium of three alternative law groups involved in paralegal systems development for marginalized sectors in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

De los Reyes said that farmer-beneficiaries who made it to the DAR paralegal team were thoroughly screened, taught and trained in various aspects of agrarian reform and other related laws, such as the qualifications and selection of beneficiaries and the process of land acquisition and distribution (LAD) as provided in new DAR issuances.

They were also provided adequate fundamental skills in legal research, interviews, evidence gathering and documentation, and were asked to prepare community plans and specific activities for their respective areas of responsibility in the hope of attaining the expected outcomes per landholding, he said.

“Our farmer-paralegals were also given clinics and tactics sessions, during which they were convened with DAR field implementers to discuss and analyze the identified agrarian reform issues for immediate resolution,” De los Reyes said.

These clinics and tactics sessions, he said, served as a venue for constant consultation and coordination with all stakeholders, with the end in view of settling possible gaps in the laws and the manner of implementing them. (PNA)

FPV/DAR-PR/MAGI

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