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Mediation Manual for Barangay and Lupon Officials
This book is a manual on the art and skills of mediation intended for the barangay and lupon officials. It is written in “primer” form for easy reading. While most published works on the Katarungang Pambarangay focus on its legal aspect, i.e. explaining R.A. 7160 and its jurisprudence, this manual treats knowledge of the law as a component in the over-all understanding of the Katarungang Pambarangay functioning. The other aspect, which is knowing hands-on how to become an effective mediator is, we believe, equally important. And this is what the book seeks to achieve: to equip the barangay and lupon officials with the basic knowledge, skills and technique on how to become better mediators and practitioners of community conflict resolution.
Our barangay and lupon officials are the vanguards of grassroots mediation in the Philippines. They are the unsung heroes of community peacemaking whose presence in our 42,000 villages and localities had restored countless damaged relationships and in the process helped de-clog the courts of needless litigation.
As mediaton manual, this book may also be used by mediators doing work in the other areas of mediation such as the court-annexed mediation, and mediation in quasi-judicial government agencies. The concept of mediation as a non-binding form of dispute resolution is the same in whatever “genre” one belongs. In this manual, the basic concepts and techniques of mediation, communication (verbal and non-verbal) tools as well as the strategies in managing an impasse are explained in detail. Ample illustrative examples are given in each major concept.
On a personal note, I first proposed the idea of coming up with a “manual” for Philippine mediators during my graduate studies in Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri. My professors in the university supported the idea and at least one said that a book’s worth is its ultimate usefulness to the generality of people rather than have tomes displayed in hallowed academic book-shelves but read only by a few. This is the philosophy and ultimate motivation in coming up with the manual: That it may be useful to all the mediators “out there” to help them hone their skills as conflict resolution workers and peacemakers in the community.
Ormoc City, March 9, 2009
Gil Marvel P. Tabucanon
Dean, Western Leyte College of
Ormoc City, School of Law
Professorial Lecturer II (ADR), Philippine Judicial Academy