The Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Thursday said it has cut over half of the backlog of cases, mostly land disputes, in just a year.
Secretary Roy Cimatu said the agency was able to reduce its case backlog at least by 62 percent over the course of one year.
In an inventory report of DENR’s Legal Affairs Service, its director Norlito Eneran said the backlog went down to 559 in January 2019 from a high of 1,482 in January 2018.
He credited the gains to Cimatu's program to eliminate the backlog and adopt alternative dispute resolution.
The DENR chief said such development has only demonstrated how serious they are in addressing their case backlog.
“The days of long, drawn-out cases are finally numbered,” he said.
“The process in eliminating undue delays in the resolution of cases are now being felt as gaps and flaws in the process that have allowed delays to thrive in the past are now being addressed,” he said.
The cases, mostly land disputes, are farmed out to the four offices under the Legal Affairs Service, along with the zero-backlog task force created in January 2018 aimed to identify cases that could easily be removed from the dockets “moto proprio” or without the need to hear the parties.
“Almost 90 percent of our cases in the DENR are land cases and the parties involved in many of these are either relatives or neighbors,” Eneran said, adding the approach proved to be effective.
The bulk of the cases were appeals on land dispute rulings by DENR regional directors.