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April 2004
The Philippines' first Online Dispute Resolution ("ODR") service will be built using Microsoft technology. This is in line with Microsoft Philippines' expressed support for the project spearheaded by the Cyberspace Policy Center for Asia-Pacific (CPCAP).

The ODR project is currently in its second phase, which involves design of the ODR process and software development. The first phase was a research on ODR as an instrument of judicial reform. Both phases were supported by Asia Foundation and PABLAW, a leading law firm noted for its IT-law expertise.

For the second phase, CPCAP invited Microsoft Philippines to be its technology partner. The third phase, involving a one-year pilot test of the ODR service, is scheduled to commence in August this year. In the pilot phase, the ODR service will be focusing on franchise-related disputes, consumer disputes and e-commerce disputes. But other focus areas, such as banking and financial services disputes, are still under consideration.

Lawyer Claro Parlade, Executive Director of CPCAP, said that Microsoft was tapped to assist in system development for its reliability and stability at cost-effective levels. "Building on the .Net framework will render the solution very flexible and scalable to the project's specific requirements."
"The Microsoft .NET framework was created to empower developers to create better solutions at a shorter period of time on any platform," said Antonio "TJ" Javier, General Manager of Microsoft Philippines. ".NET creates a common platform for building applications that can be delivered as reusable, interoperable services over the internet, and is therefore ideal for ODR, an emerging service that is increasingly being viewed as a critical pillar for e-commerce."

A pioneering project, CPCAP's ODR service will be the first offered in a developing country, and only the second in Asia. It is also envisioned to be a model for the development of an Asian-wide ODR service which is now in the planning stage.

In order to promote public awareness of ODR, CPCAP is organizing the 1st National Conference on Online Dispute Resolution, to be held at the Linden Suites on March 31, 2004. The event is being co-organized by four industry associations, namely: Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Philippine Franchise Association, Philippine Retailers Association and the Philippine Internet Commerce Society. A minimal registration fee is charged to cover the costs. For registration and inquiries, please call Bamba at 687-5362.
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