The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is now accepting electronic filing, processing, and completion of legal proceedings in cases under agrarian law implementation (ALI) as an urgent measure to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.
DAR Secretary John Castrisciones said clients can specifically file their original petitions, applications, protests with supporting evidence, and subsequent submission of pleadings, motions, documents, or evidence involving ALI cases through electronic transmission.
"We are now processing agrarian-related cases online as a precautionary measure to prevent the further spread of the virus. Documents can now be sent as an email attachment in portable document format and addressed to the official email accounts of the DAR regional directors (RDs) or provincial agrarian reform program officers (PARPOs) concerned," he said.
The DAR chief noted that submission of the original copies or certified true copies of the documents will be required to establish the authenticity of the files submitted.
Castriciones emphasized that all cases involving conversions and exclusions, or those under the jurisdiction of the Land Use Cases Committee or Regional Land Use Committee through the Agrarian Assistance Division of the Regional Office, may be filed electronically and addressed to the official email account of the Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance (BALA) at [email protected].
"Applications for cancellation of emancipation patents (EPs), certificates of landownership award, and all applications for DAR clearance may be filed with the DAR provincial offices (DARPOs) addressed to the official email account of the concerned DARPO," he said.
Catriciones said that all orders, resolution, decisions, notices, or other processes will also be released as an email attachment through the official email account of BALA, RDs, PARPOs, and other concerned offices, simultaneously with the release of hard copies through registered mail.
He added that requests for certificate of finality (COF) or certificate of no appeal may be filed or sent as an email attachment to the official email address of the BALA or RDs concerned and the COF may be released as an email attachment through the official email account of BALA or RD, and by registered mail.
"Mediation conferences, interviews and investigations, gathering of testimonies and other information may now be conducted through online video conferencing. However, if face to face interaction cannot be avoided, the required health standard must be observed," he said.
Castriciones directed the BALA, through the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Legal Assistance Division and the Agrarian Legal Assistance in the central, regional, and provincial offices, to acquaint themselves with various online and virtual platforms for the continuous rendition of legal assistance to its clientele, especially in this time of the pandemic.