Philippine Mediation Center
 
About Mediation
The Case
for Mediation
Mediators, Lawyers,
Judges and You
Procedures:
The Road to Mediation
Mediation in
the Court of Appeals
Glossary and Abbreviations

 
Frequently Asked Questions

  What is mediation?
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.
  What is Judicial Dispute Resolution?
Judicial Dispute 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.
  What cases are covered by mediation?
  1. 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.
  2. Cases cognizable by the Lupong Tagapamayapa under the Katarungang Pambarangay Law such as disputes between neighbors of the same barangay over property.
  3. The civil aspect of Batas Pambansa 22, which covers the debts paid through bouncing checks.
  4. The civil aspect of quasi-offenses under negligence like motor vehicle accidents that has damaged the vehicle or injured passengers or pedestrians.
  What cases are excluded from mediation?
Cases which cannot be compromised are not included, like legal separation or annulment of marriage.
  Can 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.
  How 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 sessions.

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 their differences.
  Where 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 cultures.
  Does 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.
  How 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.
  How 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.
  How 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:
  1. Complaint
  2. Answer with a mediatable counterclaim
In criminal cases:
  1. Complaint/information for an offense falling under the Katarungang Pambarangay Law
  2. Complaint/information for violation of Batas Pambansa 22, estafa and libel where damages are sought
  3. Complaint/information for quasioffenses falling under Title 14 of the Revised Penal Code.
  What 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.
  How is the confidentiality and privacy of my case guarded in mediation?
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.