Following the Zero Backlog Program upon instruction by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has resolved all of its pending cases, which is deemed an achievement for the Agency, “We resolved the pending cases as expeditiously as possible while ensuring that decisions are fully supported by the evidence on record, the law, and the applicable jurisprudence,” DAR Secretary John R. Castriciones said.

The lead implementor of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) launched in January 2019 a zero backlog program to resolve all cases and deliver legal assistance in a fair and speedy manner.

The zero backlog program covers the two prongs of the agency’s Agrarian Legal Services: [1] the Agrarian Legal Assistance of the Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance (BALA) which handles the resolution of agrarian cases, representation of beneficiaries before judicial and quasi-judicial bodies, and mediation and consultation and [2] the Adjudication of Agrarian Cases of the DAR Adjudication Board which handles regular cases (ejectment, declaration of tenancy status, termination of leasehold relation, etc.) and determination of land valuation.

The DARAB Central Office resolved in 2019 all 1,445 cases of its backlog while its field offices across 15 regions also accomplished all 4,041 cases. Central Luzon region leads in this number with 1,207 cases.

Meanwhile, the BALA has resolved 120 conversion cases or 100 percent of its backlog from 2018 and its preceding years and new cases filed in 2019.

A 100-percent achievement was also recorded for agrarian law implementation after the resolution of all 979 backlogged and new 2019 cases.

After this notable feat, the DAR commits to two new objectives: a 100-percent completion of land acquisition and distribution and a 100-percent delivery of support services to its beneficiaries. The DAR chief and other officials signed a pledge for these causes.