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Laoag City honors outstanding local “peacemakers.”

CITY OF LAOAG – With a score of 99.3 percent, the municipal government has named Barangay 1 San Lorenzo as this year’s best performing lupon (peace committee) for exhibiting excellent performance in resolving issues at the barangay level.

Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc of Ilocos Norte and City Mayor Michael Keon led the awarding ceremony in front of the city hall on Sunday, just in time for the city’s 57th Charter Day celebration.

The most exceptional lupon was awarded a monetary reward of PHP25,000 as well as a commemorative plaque.

Keon praised the village officials’ efforts and devotion, as well as members of the lupong tagapamayapa (peacemakers), for their help and collaboration in making the city peaceful and livable.

“Thank you for your dedication and hard work in supporting the city government’s thrusts, particularly in maintaining peace and order in your respective barangays,” he said.

Melvyn Santos, punong barangay and chairperson, said reclaiming the “title” of top performing lupon among other barangays in the city is a “huge pleasure and honor” for his barangay. For the past four years, Barangay 3 has been in charge.

After winning at the regional level, Barangay 1 will represent the Ilocos Region at the national level of the Lupong Tapapamayapa Incentives Awards in the component city category.

Inside the barangay hall, the lupon’s office has an alfresco area with a vertical garden.

The 14 members of the Lupong Tagapamayapa (LT) have converted the office sala or visitor’s lounge on the second floor into a “hearing venue” for matters submitted to them by citizens to give the LT a “homey” feel.

“The lupon resorted to novel methods of resolving disputes.” They listen to the parties and help to clear up any misunderstandings, aiming for an amicable settlement whenever possible,” said Ma. Victoria Domingo, president of the LT Association, citing rumormongering, land disputes, family relationships, and money as the main causes of misunderstanding in the village.

They use the “la casa” strategy, according to Domingo, to allow complainants, who normally arrive at the hearing venue before the respondents, to jot down whatever they want to say.

She claims that this technique works best in cases of disagreement between families or neighbors, as the complainant feels better and calmer after writing down his or her sentiments.

“While the court hearing is going on, biblical passages, lessons, and parables are also shown in the monitor,” Domingo stated.

It has been successful in promoting social justice in the barangay by resolving any problems that may emerge among its residents amicably.

The lupon also guarantees that its innovation is supplemented by efficiency measures like as adhering to settlement procedures and deadlines, keeping meticulous records, submitting reports to appropriate agencies on time, and holding monthly meetings solely focused on the barrio justice system.

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