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Paralegalism and Resource Tenure Improvement

“KASIGUROHAN SA KAPANINGUHAAN”

This paper is presented by Brgy. Capt. Samuel Abrogar and Minda Gamalo from Barangay Madaguing of Claveria, Misamis Oriental during the 1st Mindanao CAPP-SIAD Partners and Implementors’ Conference, 16-17 January 2002, Cagayan de Oro City.

BMFI is part of the Consortium of the Advancement for People’s Participation in Sustainable Integrated Area Development or CAPP-SIAD).

I – Background

Baseline Data

Madaguing is one of the 24 barangays of the Municipality of Claveria, Misamis Oriental it is situated 12 kms away from the Poblacion and 42 kms away from the nearest city which is Cagayan de Oro City. It is particularly located on the north western part of Claveria and has a population of 948 persons wherein 70% hailed from Lumads or Indigenous People (IPs) and 30% from Dumagats, Settlers from different places.

Residents of the barangay are 98% farmers, 1% employee and 1% businesspeople who own small sari-sari stores. Since Madaguing is an agricultural land 70% of its land area are corn land, 10% banana plantation, 5% planted to upland rice. Another 10% for different kinds of vegetable and the remaining 5% planted to coffee and other crops.

The barangay has land area of 918.81 hectares of alienable and disposable land (A&D) base on LC Map no. 577 dated November 21,1925. Madaguing also formally become a barangay on this the same year 1925.

RTI Problems of Madaguing

The RTI problems of Madaguing are the following:

  1. 398 hectares claimed and cultivated by 116 farmers and their families are untitled.
  2. 86 hectares cultivated by 40 potential farmer beneficiaries have not yet been issued with CLOA.

II. Bmfi And Balaod Assistance To Help Solve RTI Problems/ Issues (Interventions)

Strategies

BMFI and its partner NGO, BALAOD-Mindanaw, continue to help raise the knowledge and awareness of barangay officials and other sectors in the community to prepare them for the next PL activity to resolve its problems/ issues by:

1. RTI Orientation Seminar

A two (2) days RTI Orientation Seminar/ Workshop was conducted for the barangay officials and the RTI Committee, to help them become more aware of barangay situation with regards to existing resource tenure problems/ issues, and formulate plans so that these resources could be utilized, accessed, and if possible, be owned by the residents of the community.

2. Community Advocates Basic Seminar (CABS)

Paralegals are among the three (3) groups of advocates (Paralegals, Farmer Techs & Local Community Organizers) in the barangay formed by the Barangay Development Council.

BMFI, RCED and BALAOD facilitated the CABS to help the PLs appreciate and decide on the kind of community work they would choose to work as volunteers. They went through four (4) days of orientation sessions with the other advocates.

3. Basic Paralegal Training (BPLT)

The PLs must know how to accomplish basic legal task; legal documents/ affidavit making and have basic knowledge of laws on: Land classification, Agrarian Reform, Forest Laws. BMFI and BALAOD conducted 5 days BPLT to help the PLs be equipped with these knowledge.

4. Monthly Paralegal Clinics and Pre-clinics

To prepare for the monitoring of PL activities and for further “tacticizing”, strategizing and planning, monthly pre-clinics at the barangay level are facilitated by the SIADOs. The municipal level clinics facilitated by BMFI and BALAOD point person are regularly conducted to guide PLs on what to do with their cases/ problems or issues.

Facilitating and Hindering Factor

Facilitating Factors:

  1. Barangay Council wholehearted acceptance of the Paralegal program.
  2. The members of the Barangay Council as well as the Barangay Development Council, themselves are the ones interested to be assisted by BMFI and BALAOD.
  3. The community has demonstrated acceptance and support of the Paralegal formation and program.
  4. Cooperation and support from government line agencies such as DAR, DENR especially for land distribution and land titling.
  5. Linkaging and Networking with other partner NGOs and POs.
  6. The formation of Community Advocates known as “KABULIG” meaning Kaabag sa Buhi ug Lig-on nga Pag-palambo sa Katilingaban.

Hindering Factors:

  1. The LGU lacks funds to finance the barangay paralegal activities as counterpart also to BMFI resources. (Municipal Accountant refuses to approve the activity expenses)
  2. Time Element – partner NGO and officials with volunteers’ time, conflict with barangay activities and family needs

III. Gains, Learnings, Challenges And Prospects

Gains

What Madaguing gained?

63 hectares with 40 farmer beneficiaries has been issued with CLOA and 398 hectares claimed and cultivated by 116 farmers with their family will be issued with title on 1st or 2nd quarter of this year 2002 as scheduled by DENR which is now in the sketching stage.

Learnings

Madaguing officials and advocates learned that accomplishment of targets will be hastened if:

There is knowledge of laws and paralegalism (PL Trainings); and

There is guidance and assistance on what to do next, what the best strategies and tactics are

They learn from the experience of other paralegals during the cliniquing and other activities.

Challenges and Prospects

One of the biggest challenges and prospects of Madaguing is how to sustain and maintain the paralegal formation, and how to extend and broaden their paralegal program to include other barangay access to justice concerns.

IV. Sustaining Mechanisms

To maintain and sustain Paralegal Development and encourage the PLs to stay committed and work harder, PLs should remain in the PO or be a member of any association in the barangay. This simply means the finding ways of institutionalizing the PL in the PO and in the various structures of the barangays, among which are:

  1. Making the association a member of the BDC.
  2. Formulation of barangay ordinance/ resolution for PL institutionalization and financial assistance.
  3. Strengthening the Barangay Education Committee.
  4. Formulation of barangay ordinance/ resolution supporting Education Committee.
  5. Training of PL second-liners

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