Mediation is a process
of settling disputes with the assistance of an acceptable,
impartial and neutral third party called a mediator.
The mediator helps parties identify issues and develop
proposals to resolve their disputes. Once the parties
have arrived at a mutually acceptable arrangement, the
agreement becomes the basis for the court’s decision
on the case.
This form of mediation is also known as court-annexed
mediation since the case has already been filed in court.
is Judicial Dispute Resolution?
Resolution (JDR) is another innovation in the Philippine
court system. When court-annexed mediation fails, the
case is brought to the judge who then acts as a conciliator,
a neutral evaluator and a mediator. The judge will try
to mediate the case. If the judge’s intervention
as a mediator succeeds, the case is concluded with a
judgment based on a compromise. If the dispute is still
unresolved, then the case is referred to another judge
for trial. Both parties must now be prepared for litigation.
cases are covered by mediation?
- All civil cases, settlement of estates and cases
covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure. Typical
cases would be collection of debts, ejectment of
tenants in apartment dwellings, and inheritance
disputes among family members.
- Cases cognizable by the Lupong Tagapamayapa under
the Katarungang Pambarangay Law such as disputes
between neighbors of the same barangay over property.
- The civil aspect of Batas Pambansa 22, which
covers the debts paid through bouncing checks.
- The civil aspect of quasi-offenses under negligence
like motor vehicle accidents that has damaged the
vehicle or injured passengers or pedestrians.
cases are excluded from mediation?
Cases which cannot be compromised are not included,
like legal separation or annulment of marriage.
I or the other party refuse mediation?
No. Once the court determines that your case is mediatable,
the parties are compelled to appear before the Philippine
Mediation Center (PMC) unit. If the complainant fails
to appear for mediation, the case may be dismissed.
If the defendant is absent, the complainant may be
allowed to present their side in court without you.
The court will then decide the case on the basis of
what was presented.
will I benefit mediation?
Mediation has been proven to be a faster and certainly
less expensive option for settling disputes. Settlements
have occurred in as little as one or two mediation
Mediation also provides for a fair resolution of your
case. By jointly resolving the dispute, both parties
can come up as winners. But best of all, mediation
has been proven to restore relationships long disrupted
by conflict. The process of mediation tackles the
roots of misunderstanding to help parties resolve
did this idea come from?
Mediation is rooted in our historical experience,
in the time when disputing parties would bring their
conflict to the village elder for settlement. As a
system, mediation can be found in many indigenous
mediation replace the barangay system of justice?
No. Court-annexed mediation actually complements
the Barangay Justice System (Katarungang Pambarangay),
probably the most familiar mode of mediation in the
country, in bringing a speedy and fair resolution
to disputes. In this system, the barangay leaders
act as mediators between disputing parties within
their constituency. The Barangay Justice System attempts
to prevent the case from even going to court. Court-annexed
mediation begins when there is a failure to mediate
in the barangay level resulting in the filing of the
dispute in court. Mediation attempts to resolve the
dispute without going into adversarial proceedings.
Courts will actually dismiss certain cases which have
not passed through the Katarungang Pambarangay.
effective is mediation?
In the pilot project on mediation conducted by the
Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA), 85% of cases
referred for mediation reached settlement. Surveys
conducted after mediation also revealed a high level
of satisfaction among disputing parties in the outcome
of their case. Close to 100% of the parties involved
complied with the agreement reached in mediation.
long will mediation take?
Parties are given 30 days for mediation sessions.
The period may be extended to another 30 days to allow
you to reach a compromise agreement.
much will it cost me?
A mediation fee of P500.00 is collected by the Clerk
of Court upon the filing of certain pleadings in court.
This fee will accrue to the Mediation Fund for the
training of mediators, payment of mediator’s
fees and other operating expenses of the Philippine
Mediation Center (PMC). The fee will be collected
upon the filing of the following pleadings:
In civil cases:
In criminal cases:
- Answer with a mediatable counterclaim
- Complaint/information for an offense falling
under the Katarungang Pambarangay Law
- Complaint/information for violation of Batas
Pambansa 22, estafa and libel where damages are
- Complaint/information for quasioffenses falling
under Title 14 of the Revised Penal Code.
happens when I can’t afford mediation?
You can ask your lawyer to allow you to avail of
court services as a pauper litigant. If the court
approves, then mediation is free.
is the confidentiality and privacy of my case guarded
Sessions are strictly private and confidential. This
is to encourage the needed openness and spontaneity
for effective communication in mediation. The mediator
can not record the proceedings in any manner other
than taking down a few personal notes for guidance.
Even the trial court is not furnished these notes.
Any information from a mediation session is in fact
inadmissible in court. Mediators can not be subpoenaed
to reveal what happened during these sessions either.
All documents submitted by the parties will be returned
to them after mediation.