Barangay v. Pre-Trial Conference

QUESTION: What is the difference, if any, between the conciliation proceedings under the Katarungang Pambarangay Law and the negotiations for an amicable settlement during the pre-trial conference under the Rules of Court?

ANSWER: Aside from the fact that a pre-trial conference is a mandatory part of the judicial process while conciliation proceedings are a condition precedent that can be waived if not raised in a motion to dismiss or as an affirmative defense, there is one more difference. In a barangay conciliation proceeding, the appearance of lawyers for or in behalf of a client is NOT allowed. On the other hand, there is no such prohibition in a pre-trial negotiation.

One more difference is that the result of a pre-trial conference is a pre-trial order issued by the judge. This order controls subsequent proceedings relating to the case. Whereas, the result of a barangay conciliation effort is either a certificate to file action (CFA) or an amicable settlement which can be enforced by the barangay in six months or, beyond said period, by filing a petition in the first-level court.