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Legal clinics for underprivileged eyed by PLO

| by: Kelvin Cañizares

After seeing good results in educating barangay officials and workers on laws related to their work, the Provincial Legal Office (PLO) is shifting its target to the marginalized sectors for the next wave of its legal outreach program.

Orvi Ortega, head of the province’s legal office, said the PLO is looking to extend its legal outreach program to the underprivileged by conducting free legal clinics to different municipalities.

“This is one program that could not be quantified. The assistance that the province has been giving to its constituents is not only limited to financial aid but also on things that will empower them. Knowledge is one way of empowering the underprivileged,” Ortega said during the recent Kapistorya sa Kapitolyo.

Instead of asking participants to come to the city, Ortega said the PLO will go to various towns to conduct legal clinics.

Free legal consultations and notarial services will be among the assistance that PLO will extend. Writing legal documents is also free of charge.

To beef up the PLO’s manpower, Ortega said he will ask help from the members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

The provincial legal officer clarified that the legal outreach program will only start after the election period to avoid people putting political color on the undertaking.

The PLO’s legal outreach program for the barangay started in 2015 and has already conducted seminars in 10 towns, including Tuburan, Barili, Balamban, Compostela, Argao, Alcoy and four towns of Camotes Island namely Poro, Pillar, Tudela and San Francisco as well as the city of Talisay.

Under the program, village chiefs, councilors, secretaries, members of the Lupong Taga pamayapa and tanods will undergo lectures on various laws that are related to their work.

The lecture includes laws governing search and seizure and conduct of arrest, the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act (VAWC), guidelines in crafting resolutions and ordinances as well as parliamentary rules and procedures.