ABA ROLI Explores Support for Alternative Dispute Resolution with Philippines Judicial Academy (PHILJA) and Philippines Mediation Center Office (PMCO)

In the photo from right to left are: Atty. Jose Saluib, PMCO;
Atty. Jade Marquez, ABA ROLI Program Officer;
Atty. Christine Ramos, ABA ROLI Deputy Chief of Party;
Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna, PhilJA Chancellor;
 Atty. Susan Cowley, Country Director, ABA ROLI;
Justice Romeo Callejo, Sr., PhilJA Vice Chancellor;
Dean Sedfrey Candelaria, Chief of Office for the Research, Publication and Linkages Office and Chief of the Department of Special Areas of Concern;
Mr. Jose Name, Jr., PMCO Officer In Charge;
Atty. Ulidia Mabansag, PMCO.

For years, ABA ROLI has maintained a relationship with the Philippines Judicial Academy (PHILJA) and the Philippines Mediation Center Office (PMCO) on alternative dispute resolution activities throughout the Judicial Strengthening and Improving Court Effectiveness (JUSTICE) project. Last month, ABA ROLI staffers met with the senior staff and justices of PHILJA and PMCO and discussed future collaborations.
At the meeting, PHILJA and PMCO expressed interest in ABA ROLI’s support to redesign the refresher course, as well as identification of potential e-training opportunities. Additionally, ABA ROLI and PHILJA discussed how they could implement a mediator training together with assistance for the Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR). The JDR is a process taken up by a judge to employ either conciliation, mediation, or neutral evaluation to settle a case at the pre-trial stage. These revisions will focus on building communication skills and other practical expertise for the mediators, as well as ensure that trainings are more client-centric. ABA ROLI and PHILJA and PMCO also explored collaborative ways to update their training curriculum for mediators in the court-annexed mediation units.

Currently, there are 144 units with 240 staff and 600 trained mediators in the country. While they have been accredited for the past two years, PMCO is mandated to provide a refresher course for accredited staff and trained mediators for the next two years. As a result of this continued effort, mediators will further develop their skills related to case and dispute resolutions. Ultimately, citizens will experience quicker assistance with their cases, and gain more trust in the legal system of the Philippines.

Both PHILJA and PMCO and ABA ROLI share the goal to improve case resolution in the Philippines, and look forward to continuing their collaboration on legal work. 

Learn more about ABA ROLI’s work in Asia and the Pacific.