Punto! Central Luzon’s way of giving recognition to individuals, organizations, or companies that rendered exemplary service to the public, or who excelled in their endeavors in 2021.
STRONG AND united amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines–Central Luzon drew from its well-spring of social responsibility to help various communities in different provinces in the region.
IBP-CL governor Atty. Paul Maglalang said the breadth and depth of the efforts of the IBP chapters, from the donation drives to contribution of financial assistance to bereaved families of members who did not survive the Covid-19 virus, to the camaraderie and compassion extended the marginalized sectors of society truly bespeak of the IBP character.
“Considering that despite meager funds, we were able to provide assistance not only to family members but also to the general public within our respective jurisdictions including the detained prisoners,” said Maglalang.
IBP Pampanga, Bataan, and Zambales chapters led various activities with legal aid offices remaining open especially during the height of the Covid-19 lockdowns.
IBP Pampanga mounted a video conference service dubbed E-dalaw at its chapter office in the City of San Fernando for persons deprived of liberty to enable their families access to communication despite health restrictions. Those who availed themselves of the service also received grocery items.
The Pampanga chapter also set up an anti-discrimination hotline to assist inquiries from medical frontliners who are being discriminated by their landlords, neighbors, and some government officials at the start of the pandemic as some were being asked to leave or denied access to their rental properties and tagged as disease carriers.
IBP Pampanga was able to raise a total of P500,000 for the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPEs) for the medical frontliners, medical expenses of its members afflicted with Covid-19, and mortuary benefits to those who succumbed to the virus during the height of the pandemic. Their assistance benefitted a total of 3,000 families and over 1,000 medical frontliners.
IBP Bataan chapter was able to provide PPEs to Balanga General Hospital and donated relief packs, hygiene kits, and facemasks to persons deprived of liberty and the indigenous people in Dinalupihan. It also distributed PPEs donated by the Office of the Vice President Leni Robredo to the Jose Payumo Memorial Hospital during the height of the lockdown period.
Community pantries were also set up in various areas in the province as in-kind donations kept pouring from different sectors, individuals, and residents. The Bataan chapter also donated bundles of bond paper to the Alternative Learning Center in Cupang Elementary School.
IBP Zambales chapter distributed face masks, medical gloves, sacks of rice, and canned goods to different areas in their province as well as to the Aeta communities.
Maglalang added that aside from these efforts, all chapters will continue providing free legal aid services to the needy such as legal advice and consultation, legal representation in court cases. and notarization.
He noted that being the governor of IBP-CL, part of his advocacy is to continue cleansing the region from illegal public notaries with the help of executive judges and police officers as reports of such illegal activities are slowly coming back. – Joann Manabat