Today's Punto
Today's Punto
Feature Article
IBP Pampanga Chapter: Keeping alive the spirit of excellence in caring, educating and innovating
By Atty. Darwin S. Reyes

Jun 15, 2017

WHEN IBP Pampanga Chapter was adjudged as the Most Outstanding Chapter in the Philippines during the 15th National Convention Lawyers in Cebu City in March of 2015, the award ended the chapter’s 16-year drought from national recognition as the Best IBP Chapter.

As the merriment and congratulatory messages subsided weeks after and having taken our oaths as the newly elected officers of the chapter, the daunting task put on the shoulders of the board of officers of Term 2015- 2015 to continue the renewed excellence in service by Past President Paul Maglalang, all became too real.

When we grabbed the challenge by the horns and continued our mission to “CARE, EDUCATE and INNOVATE”, we not only touched and changed the lives of those we served in a multitude of ways, but most of all we became the better versions of ourselves because we cared, educated and innovated.

Our two-year journey was a mix of fulfilling, fun and sometimes crazy moments and adventures. We had the chance to sing our hearts out in a concert to raise funds for a peer assistance project, crossed oceans to serve our Kababayans in Hong Kong, took to the busy streets and malls to give free legal aid, touched based with needy students with our Brigada Eskwela projects, found our twin chapter in Albay, shot hoops with our peers from Baguio-Benguet and worked our calf muscles going up the rocky and steep terrain of the Haduan aeta community, not once, but twice!

Surviving the two-year journey was no easy task for the officers and members of IBP Pampanga but we carried on, with the same vigor, enthusiasm and determination as our predecessors. We kept the flame of service burning, brighter and steadier and were rewarded with a back to back win as the Most Outstanding Chapter in the Philippines during the 16th National Convention of Lawyers in Marriot Hotel, Pasay City last Marcg 24, 2017.

Our humble contributions to help the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in its quest to elevate the standards of the profession, improve the administration of Justice and to enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility more effectively, were indeed instrumental in achieving this rare feat.

Caring for Peers

The core of term 2015-2017 had been service to our Panyeros and Panyeras. The launch of the chapter’s very own Peer Assistance Fund, a first among IBP chapters, compliments the current peer assistance being given by the IBP National office.

Launched during the chapter’s 2015 Christmas Party, with a seed fund of almost P30,000.00 donated by the attendees to kick-off the fund-raising drive for the project, the families of seven (7) members have been the recipient of P10,000.00 financial assistance from the chapter

The project gained full momentum during the love month of February 2016 when talented IBP Pampanga members shared their God-given talent for music in a fund-raising concert dubbed “Legally in Love”, to raise more funds for the peer assistance project. The resounding success of the concert was a testament to the endearing spirit of brotherhood among Kapampangan lawyers.

Legal Aid for Drug Reformists

With the end view of protecting the rights of victims of drug abuse seeking to reform themselves, the IBP Pampanga Chapter extended free legal assistance to about 5,000 drug reformists and surrenderers in Pampanga during a province- wide campaign from July 19-20, 2016.

The simultaneous activities in the different municipalities and cities in Pampanga which coincided with the Philippine National Police’s Oplan Tokhang were attended to by 21 volunteer members of IBP Pampanga.

The volunteer lawyers saw to it that the reformists and surrenderees were made fully aware of the contents of a written sworn undertaking to stay away from drug use and be under the supervision of their respective Barangay Anti-Illegal Drug Council and the voluntariness of their commitment to the undertaking.

Caring Through Bags of Hope (Brigada Eskwela)

The active participation of IBP Pampanga in DepEd’s Brgada Eskwela started has been ongoing for almost 5 years. In 2015, 60 children of Pampanga probationers were the recipients of school bags and supplies contributed by chapter members.

The following year, the chapter joined the Brigada kick-off activities in three schools, with cash and paint donations to 7 schools in the province. A total of 400 students in the province were the recipients of the chapter’s “School Bags of Hope”, while 100 children of fishermen and charcoal makers in Barangay Patar in Bolinao, Pangasinan received their bags donated by the chapter, G Resort, Vice President Gener Endona and President Babyruth Torre of IBP Pangasinan.

Legal Aid Across the Seas

The unprecedented success of the chapter’s first International Legal Mission in Hong Kong dubbed “Idulog Mo sa IBP” in 2014 paved the way to a repeat of the highly anticipated free legal aid to OFWS in the former British colony on November 14-15, 2015.

The event was launched on a grander scale as the IBP Central Luzon Region became a partner in the international legal mission which served well over 300 OFWS during the 2-day event.

IBP Pampanga’s global legal aiders were also in full force for the international legal mission “Idulog Mo Kay Atorni 4” at the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong on November 13-14, 2016.

An off -shoot of previously successful international legal missions, the fourth installment of the international legal mission served almost 2,000 OFWS not only in the offices of the consulate but also in several off-site venues.

Close to 60 lawyers from IBP Central Luzon joined the historic international legal mission.

The chapter members joining the event not only served OFWS in the Philippine consulate but were eagerly welcomed by almost 100 kababayans at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office for a lecture on the then very hot topic on “Tanim Bala”.

Reaching out through Legal Education

• The chapter’s goal of putting a stop to bullying one school at a time was achieved through seven (7) Anti-Bullying Lectures and Forum with a total of more than 2,500 participants (students and parents) with Atty. Gener Endona and Atty. Ralph Vincent Macalino lending their expertise and advocacy on the subject matter.

• Barangay Legal Outreach (Lecture on Katarungang Pambarangay Law, Small Claims and Barangay Protection Order) served more than 350 barangay officials and Lupon members in Barangay San Isidro, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, and the municipalities of Guagua and Sasmuan, Pampanga.

• Lecture on Labor Laws and Pre-employment Techniques to 200 college students of Republic Central Colleges, Angeles City.

• Lecture on the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers and the DEPED Child Protection Policy and Parenting and Children’s Rights to teachers of Pampanga High School, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, Basics of Cybercrime Law to members of the PNP, Public School Teachers, Barangay Officials, Lupon Members and IT professionals, Lecture on Real Estate Laws to the officers of the Philippine Air Force

• Took advantage of mass media as an important tool in extending the legal education project of the chapter in co-producing the regular weekly legal affairs TV show “Legal Points Ing Batas Pakibaluan” airing every Wednesday at GNN TV Ch 44 and hosted by former IBP Pampanga President and former IBP Central Luzon Governor Atty. IQ Tuazon.

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