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EN BANC

RE: REQUEST OF A.M. No. 08-11-7-SC


NATIONAL COMMITTEE
ON LEGAL AID[1] TO EXEMPT Present:
LEGAL AID CLIENTS FROM
PAYING FILING, DOCKET PUNO, C.J.,
AND OTHER FEES. QUISUMBING,
YNARES-SANTIAGO,
CARPIO,
CORONA,
CARPIO MORALES,
CHICO-NAZARIO,
VELASCO, JR.,
NACHURA,
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO,
BRION,
PERALTA,
BERSAMIN,
DEL CASTILLO and
ABAD, JJ.

Promulgated:

August 28, 2009

x---------------------------------------------------x

RESOLUTION
CORONA, J.:

On September 23, 2008 the Misamis Oriental Chapter of the Integrated Bar
of the Philippines (IBP) promulgated Resolution No. 24, series of 2008.[2]The
resolution requested the IBPs National Committee on Legal Aid[3] (NCLA) to ask
for the exemption from the payment of filing, docket and other fees of clients of
the legal aid offices in the various IBP chapters. Resolution No. 24, series of 2008
provided:
RESOLUTION NO. 24, SERIES OF 2008

RESOLUTION OF THE IBPMISAMIS ORIENTAL CHAPTER FOR


THE IBP NATIONAL LEGAL AID OFFICE TO REQUEST THE
COURTS AND OTHER QUASI-JUDICIAL BODIES, THE
PHILIPPINE MEDIATION CENTER AND PROSECUTORS
OFFICES TO EXEMPT LEGAL AID CLIENTS FROM PAYING
FILING, DOCKET AND OTHER FEES INCIDENTAL TO THE
FILING AND LITIGATION OF ACTIONS, AS ORIGINAL
PROCEEDINGS OR ON APPEAL.

WHEREAS, Section 1, Article I of the Guidelines Governing the


Establishment and Operation of Legal Aid Offices in All Chapters of
the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (otherwise known as []Guideline[s]
on Legal Aid[]) provides: Legal aid is not a matter of charity. It is a
means for the correction of social imbalances that may often lead to
injustice, for which reason, it is a public responsibility of the Bar. The
spirit of public service should therefore unde[r]ly all legal aid offices.
The same should be so administered as to give maximum possible
assistance to indigent and deserving members of the community in all
cases, matters and situations in which legal aid may be necessary to
forestall injustice.

WHEREAS, Section 2 of the same provides: In order to attain


the objectives of legal aid, legal aid office should be as close as
possible to those who are in need thereof the masses. Hence, every
chapter of the IBP must establish and operate an adequate legal aid
office.

WHEREAS, the Legal Aid Office of the IBPMisamis Oriental


Chapter has long been operational, providing free legal services to
numerous indigent clients, through the chapters members who render
volunteer services in the spirit of public service;

WHEREAS, the courts, quasi-judicial bodies, the various


mediation centers and prosecutors offices are collecting fees, be they
filing, docket, motion, mediation or other fees in cases, be they original
proceedings or on appeal;
WHEREAS, IBP Legal Aid clients are qualified under the same
indigency and merit tests used by the Public Attorneys Office (PAO),
and would have qualified for PAO assistance, but for reasons other than
indigency, are disqualified from availing of the services of the PAO,
like the existence of a conflict of interests or conflicting defenses, and
other similar causes;

WHEREAS, PAO clients are automatically exempt from the


payment of docket and other fees for cases, be they original proceedings
or on appeal, by virtue of the provisions of Section 16D of R.A. 9406
(PAO Law), without the need for the filing of any petition or motion to
declare them as pauper litigants;

WHEREAS, there is no similar provision in any substantive law


or procedural law giving IBP Legal Aid clients the same benefits or
privileges enjoyed by PAO clients with respect to the payment of
docket and other fees before the courts, quasi-judicial bodies and
prosecutors offices;

WHEREAS, the collection of docket and other fees from the IBP
Legal Aid clients poses an additional strain to their next to non-existent
finances;

WHEREAS, the quarterly allowance given by the National Legal


Aid Office to the IBP Misamis Oriental Chapter is insufficient to even
cover the incidental expenses of volunteer legal aid lawyers, much less
answer for the payment of docket and other fees collected by the courts,
quasi-judicial bodies and prosecutors offices and mediation fees
collected by the Philippine Mediation Center;

NOW THEREFORE, on motion of the Board of Officers of the


IBPMisamis Oriental Chapter, be it resolved as it is hereby resolved, to
move the IBP National Legal Aid Office to make the necessary requests
or representations with the Supreme Court, the Philippine Mediation
Center, the Department of Justice and the National Prosecution Service
and other quasi-judicial agencies to effect the grant of a like exemption
from the payment of filing, docket and other fees to the IBP Legal Aid
clients as that enjoyed by PAO clients, towards the end that IBP Legal
Aid clients be automatically exempted from the filing of the
abovementioned fees;
RESOLVED FURTHER, that copies of this Resolution be
furnished to Supreme Court Chief Justice Honorable Reynato S. Puno,
IBP National President Feliciano M. Bautista, the IBP Board of
Governors, Secretary of Justice Hon. Raul M. Gonzalez, the National
Supervisor of the Philippine Mediation Center, the National Labor
Relations Commission, the Civil Service Commission and other quasi-
judicial bodies and their local offices;

RESOLVED FINALLY to move the IBP Board of Governors


and National Officers to make the necessary representations with the
National Legislature and its members to effect the filing of a bill before
the House of Representatives and the Senate granting exemption to IBP
Legal Aid clients from the payment of docket, filing and or other fees in
cases before the courts, quasi-judicial agencies and prosecutors offices
and the mediation centers.

Done this 23rd day of September 2008, Cagayan De Oro City.

Unanimously approved upon motion severally seconded.[4]

The Court noted Resolution No. 24, series of 2008 and required the IBP, through
the NCLA, to comment thereon.[5]

In a comment dated December 18, 2008,[6] the IBP, through the NCLA, made the
following comments:

(a) Under Section 16-D of RA[7] 9406, clients of the Public Attorneys Office
(PAO) are exempt from the payment of docket and other fees
incidental to the institution of action in court and other quasi-judicial
bodies. On the other hand, clients of legal aid offices in the various
IBP chapters do not enjoy the same exemption. IBPs indigent clients
are advised to litigate as pauper litigants under Section 21, Rule 3 of
the Rules of Court;
(b) They are further advised to submit documentary evidence to prove
compliance with the requirements under Section 21, Rule 3 of the
Rules of Court, i.e., certifications from the barangay and the
Department of Social Welfare and Development. However, not only
does the process involve some expense which indigent clients could
ill-afford, clients also lack knowledge on how to go about the tedious
process of obtaining these documents;

(c) Although the IBP is given an annual legal aid subsidy, the amount it
receives from the government is barely enough to cover various
operating expenses;[8]

(d) While each IBP local chapter is given a quarterly allocation (from the
legal aid subsidy),[9] said allocation covers neither the incidental
expenses defrayed by legal aid lawyers in handling legal aid cases nor
the payment of docket and other fees collected by the courts, quasi-
judicial bodies and the prosecutors office, as well as mediation fees
and

(e) Considering the aforementioned factors, a directive may be issued by the


Supreme Court granting IBPs indigent clients an exemption from the
payment of docket and other fees similar to that given to PAO clients
under Section 16-D of RA 9406. In this connection, the Supreme
Court previously issued a circular exempting IBP clients from the
payment of transcript of stenographic notes.[10]

At the outset, we laud the Misamis Oriental Chapter of the IBP for its effort
to help improve the administration of justice, particularly, the access to justice by
the poor. Its Resolution No. 24, series of 2008 in fact echoes one of the noteworthy
recommendations during the Forum on Increasing Access to Justicespearheaded by
the Court last year. In promulgating Resolution No. 24, the Misamis Oriental
Chapter of the IBP has effectively performed its duty to participate in the
development of the legal system by initiating or supporting efforts in law reform
and in the administration of justice.[11]

We now move on to determine the merits of the request.


ACCESS TO JUSTICE:
MAKING AN IDEAL A REALITY

Access to justice by all, especially by the poor, is not simply an ideal in our
society. Its existence is essential in a democracy and in the rule of law. As such, it
is guaranteed by no less than the fundamental law:

Sec. 11. Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and
adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any person by
reason of poverty.[12](emphasis supplied)

The Court recognizes the right of access to justice as the most important
pillar of legal empowerment of the marginalized sectors of our society.[13]Among
others, it has exercised its power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and
enforcement of constitutional rights[14] to open the doors of justice to the
underprivileged and to allow them to step inside the courts to be heard of their
plaints. In particular, indigent litigants are permitted under Section 21, Rule
3[15] and Section 19, Rule 141[16] of the Rules of Court to bring suits in forma
pauperis.
The IBP, pursuant to its general objectives to improve the administration of
justice and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility more
effectively,[17] assists the Court in providing the poor access to justice. In
particular, it renders free legal aid under the supervision of the NCLA.

A NEW RULE, A NEW TOOL


FOR ACCESS TO JUSTICE
Under the IBPs Guidelines Governing the Establishment and Operation of
Legal Aid Offices in All Chapters of the IBP (Guidelines on Legal Aid), the
combined means and merit tests shall be used to determine the eligibility of an
applicant for legal aid:

ARTICLE VIII
TESTS

SEC. 19. Combined tests. The Chapter Legal Aid Committee or the
[NCLA], as the case may be, shall pass upon the request for legal aid by
the combined application of the means test and merit test, and the
consideration of other factors adverted to in the following sections.

SEC. 20. Means test. The means test aims at determining whether the
applicant has no visible means of support or his income is otherwise
insufficient to provide the financial resources necessary to engage
competent private counsel owing to the demands for subsistence of his
family, considering the number of his dependents and the conditions
prevailing in the locality.

The means test shall not be applicable to applicants who fall under the
Developmental Legal Aid Program such as Overseas Filipino Workers,
fishermen, farmers, women and children and other disadvantaged
groups.

SEC. 21. Merit test. The merit test seeks to ascertain whether or not the
applicants cause of action or his defense is valid and chances of
establishing the same appear reasonable.

SEC. 22. Other factors. The effect of the Legal Aid Service or of the
failure to render the same upon the Rule of Law, the proper
administration of justice, the public interest involved in given cases and
the practice of law in the locality shall likewise be considered.

SEC. 23. Private practice. Care shall be taken that the Legal aid is not
availed of to the detriment of the private practice of law, or taken
advantage of by anyone for personal ends.
SEC. 24. Denial. Legal aid may be denied to an applicant already
receiving adequate assistance from any source other than the Integrated
Bar.

The means and merit tests appear to be reasonable determinants of eligibility


for coverage under the legal aid program of the IBP. Nonetheless, they may be
improved to ensure that any exemption from the payment of legal fees that may be
granted to clients of the NCLA and the legal aid offices of the various IBP chapters
will really further the right of access to justice by the poor. This will guarantee that
the exemption will neither be abused nor trivialized. Towards this end, the
following shall be observed by the NCLA and the legal aid offices in IBP chapters
nationwide in accepting clients and handling cases for the said clients:

A.M. No. 08-11-7-SC (IRR): Re: Rule on the Exemption From the
Payment of Legal Fees of the Clients of the National Committee on
Legal Aid and of the Legal Aid Offices in the Local Chapters of the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines

Rule on the Exemption From the Payment of Legal Fees of the


Clients of the National Committee on Legal Aid (NCLA) and of the
Legal Aid Offices in the Local Chapters of the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines (IBP)

ARTICLE I
Purpose

Section 1. Purpose. This Rule is issued for the purpose of enforcing the
right of free access to courts by the poor guaranteed under Section 11,
Article III of the Constitution. It is intended to increase the access to
justice by the poor by exempting from the payment of legal fees
incidental to instituting an action in court, as an original proceeding or
on appeal, qualified indigent clients of the NCLA and of the legal aid
offices in local IBP chapters nationwide.

ARTICLE II
Definition of Terms

Section 1. Definition of important terms. For purposes of this Rule and


as used herein, the following terms shall be understood to be how they
are defined under this Section:

(a) Developmental legal aid means the rendition of legal services


in public interest causes involving overseas workers,
fisherfolk, farmers, laborers, indigenous cultural
communities, women, children and other disadvantaged
groups and marginalized sectors;

(b) Disinterested person refers to the punong barangay having


jurisdiction over the place where an applicant for legal
aid or client of the NCLA or chapter legal aid office
resides;

(c) Falsity refers to any material misrepresentation of fact or any


fraudulent, deceitful, false, wrong or misleading statement
in the application or affidavits submitted to support it or
the affidavit of a disinterested person required to be
submitted annually under this Rule which may
substantially affect the determination of the qualifications
of the applicant or the client under the means and merit
tests;
(d) Legal fees refers to the legal fees imposed under Rule 141 of
the Rules of Court as a necessary incident of instituting an
action in court either as an original proceeding or on
appeal. In particular, it includes filing or docket fees,
appeal fees, fees for issuance of provisional remedies,
mediation fees, sheriffs fees, stenographers fees (that is
fees for transcript of stenographic notes) and
commissioners fees;

(e) Means test refers to the set of criteria used to determine


whether the applicant is one who has no money or property
sufficient and available for food, shelter and basic
necessities for himself and his family;
(f) Merit test refers to the ascertainment of whether the applicants
cause of action or his defense is valid and whether the
chances of establishing the same appear reasonable and

(g) Representative refers to the person authorized to file an


application for legal aid in behalf of the applicant when the
said applicant is prevented by a compelling reason from
personally filing his application. As a rule, it refers to the
immediate family members of the applicant. However, it
may include any of the applicants relatives or any person
or concerned citizen of sufficient discretion who has first-
hand knowledge of the personal circumstances of the
applicant as well as of the facts of the applicants case.

ARTICLE III
Coverage

Section 1. Persons qualified for exemption from payment of legal fees.


Persons who shall enjoy the benefit of exemption from the payment of
legal fees incidental to instituting an action in court, as an original
proceeding or on appeal, granted under this Rule shall be limited only to
clients of the NCLA and the chapter legal aid offices.

The said clients shall refer to those indigents qualified to receive


free legal aid service from the NCLA and the chapter legal aid offices.
Their qualifications shall be determined based on the tests provided in
this Rule.

Section 2. Persons not covered by the Rule. The following shall be


disqualified from the coverage of this Rule. Nor may they be accepted
as clients by the NCLA and the chapter legal aid offices.

(a) Juridical persons; except in cases covered by developmental


legal aid or public interest causes involving juridical
entities which are non-stock, non-profit organizations,
non-governmental organizations and peoples organizations
whose individual members will pass the means test
provided in this Rule;

(b) Persons who do not pass the means and merit tests;
(c) Parties already represented by a counsel de parte;

(d) Owners or lessors of residential lands or buildings with


respect to the filing of collection or unlawful detainer suits
against their tenants and

(e) Persons who have been clients of the NCLA or chapter legal
aid office previously in a case where the NCLA or chapter
legal aid office withdrew its representation because of a
falsity in the application or in any of the affidavits
supporting the said application.

Section 3. Cases not covered by the Rule. The NCLA and the chapter
legal aid offices shall not handle the following:

(a) Cases where conflicting interests will be represented by the


NCLA and the chapter legal aid offices and

(b) Prosecution of criminal cases in court.

ARTICLE IV
Tests of Indigency

Section 1. Tests for determining who may be clients of the NCLA


and the legal aid offices in local IBP chapters. The NCLA or the
chapter legal aid committee, as the case may be, shall pass upon
requests for legal aid by the combined application of the means and
merit tests and the consideration of other relevant factors provided for
in the following sections.

Section 2. Means test; exception. (a) This test shall be based on the
following criteria: (i) the applicant and that of his immediate family
must have a gross monthly income that does not exceed an amount
double the monthly minimum wage of an employee in the place where
the applicant resides and (ii) he does not own real property with a fair
market value as stated in the current tax declaration of more than Three
Hundred Thousand (P300,000.00) Pesos.

In this connection, the applicant shall execute an affidavit of indigency


(printed at the back of the application form) stating that he and his
immediate family do not earn a gross income abovementioned, nor own
any real property with the fair value aforementioned, supported by an
affidavit of a disinterested person attesting to the truth of the applicants
affidavit. The latest income tax return and/or current tax declaration, if
any, shall be attached to the applicants affidavit.

(b) The means test shall not be applicable to applicants who fall under
the developmental legal aid program such as overseas workers,
fisherfolk, farmers, laborers, indigenous cultural communities, women,
children and other disadvantaged groups.

Section 3. Merit test. A case shall be considered meritorious if an


assessment of the law and evidence at hand discloses that the legal
service will be in aid of justice or in the furtherance thereof, taking into
consideration the interests of the party and those of society. A case fails
this test if, after consideration of the law and evidence presented by the
applicant, it appears that it is intended merely to harass or injure the
opposite party or to work oppression or wrong.

Section 4. Other relevant factors that may be considered. The effect of


legal aid or of the failure to render the same upon the rule of law, the
proper administration of justice, the public interest involved in a given
case and the practice of law in the locality shall likewise be considered.

ARTICLE V
Acceptance and Handling of Cases

Section 1. Procedure in accepting cases. The following procedure shall


be observed in the acceptance of cases for purposes of this Rule:

(a) Filing of application An application shall be made personally


by the applicant, unless there is a compelling reason which
prevents him from doing so, in which case his
representative may apply for him. It shall adhere
substantially to the form made for that purpose. It shall be
prepared and signed by the applicant or, in proper cases,
his duly authorized representative in at least three copies.

Applications for legal aid shall be filed with the NCLA or with
the chapter legal aid committee.
The NCLA shall, as much as possible, concentrate on cases of
paramount importance or national impact.

Requests received by the IBP National Office shall be referred by


the NCLA to the proper chapter legal aid committee of the
locality where the cases have to be filed or are pending.
The chapter president and the chairman of the chapters
legal aid committee shall be advised of such referral.

(b) Interview The applicant shall be interviewed by a member of


the chapter legal aid committee or any chapter member
authorized by the chapter legal aid committee to determine
the applicants qualifications based on the means and merit
tests and other relevant factors. He shall also be required to
submit copies of his latest income tax returns and/or
current tax declaration, if available, and execute an
affidavit of indigency printed at the back of the application
form with the supporting affidavit of a disinterested person
attesting to the truth of the applicants affidavit.

After the interview, the applicant shall be informed that he can


follow up the action on his application after five (5)
working days.

(c) Action on the application The chapter legal aid committee


shall pass upon every request for legal aid and submit its
recommendation to the chapter board of officers within
three (3) working days after the interview of the applicant.
The basis of the recommendation shall be stated.

The chapter board of officers shall review and act


on the recommendation of the chapter legal aid committee
within two (2) working days from receipt
thereof; Provided, however, that in urgent matters
requiring prompt or immediate action, the chapters
executive director of legal aid or whoever performs his
functions may provisionally act on the application, subject
to review by the chapter legal aid committee and,
thereafter, by the chapter board of officers.
The action of the chapter board of officers on the application
shall be final.

(d) Cases which may be provisionally accepted. In the following


cases, the NCLA or the chapter legal aid office, through
the chapters executive director of legal aid or whoever
performs his functions may accept cases provisionally
pending verification of the applicants indigency and an
evaluation of the merit of his case.

(i) Where a warrant for the arrest of the applicant has been
issued;

(ii) Where a pleading has to be filed immediately to avoid


adverse effects to the applicant;

(iii) Where an appeal has to be urgently perfected or a


petition for certiorari, prohibition or mandamus filed
has to be filed immediately; and

(iv) Other similar urgent cases.

(e) Assignment of control number Upon approval of the chapter


board of officers of a persons application and the applicant
is found to be qualified for legal assistance, the case shall
be assigned a control number. The numbering shall be
consecutive starting from January to December of every
year. The control number shall also indicate the region and
the chapter handling the case.

Example:
Region[18] Chapter Year Month Number
GM - Manila - 2009 - 03 - 099

(f) Issuance of a certification After an application is approved and


a control number duly assigned, the chapter board of
officers shall issue a certification that the person (that is,
the successful applicant) is a client of the NCLA or of the
chapter legal aid office. The certification shall bear the
control number of the case and shall state the name of the
client and the nature of the judicial action subject of the
legal aid of the NCLA or the legal aid office of a local IBP
chapter.
The certification shall be issued to the successful applicant free of
charge.

Section 2. Assignment of cases. After a case is given a control number,


the chapter board of officers shall refer it back to the chapter legal aid
committee. The chapter legal aid committee shall assign the case to any
chapter member who is willing to handle the case.

In case no chapter member has signified an intention to handle


the case voluntarily, the chapter legal aid committee shall refer the
matter to the chapter board of officers together with the names of at
least three members who, in the chapter legal aid committees discretion,
may competently render legal aid on the matter. The chapter board of
officers shall appoint one chapter member from among the list of names
submitted by the chapter legal aid committee. The chapter member
chosen may not refuse the appointment except on the ground of conflict
of interest or other equally compelling grounds as provided in the Code
of Professional Responsibility,[19] in which case the chapter board of
officers shall appoint his replacement from among the remaining names
in the list previously submitted by the chapter legal aid committee.

The chapter legal aid committee and the chapter board of officers
shall take the necessary measures to ensure that cases are well-
distributed to chapter members.

Section 3. Policies and guidelines in the acceptance and handling of


cases. The following policies and guidelines shall be observed in the
acceptance and handling of cases:

(a) First come, first served Where both the


complainant/plaintiff/petitioner and defendant/ respondent
apply for legal aid and both are qualified, the first to seek
assistance shall be given preference.

(b) Avoidance of conflict of interest Where acceptance of a case


will give rise to a conflict of interest on the part of the
chapter legal aid office, the applicant shall be duly
informed and advised to seek the services of a private
counsel or another legal aid organization.
Where handling of the case will give rise to a conflict of interest
on the part of the chapter member assigned to the case, the
client shall be duly informed and advised about it. The
handling lawyer shall also inform the chapter legal aid
committee so that another chapter member may be
assigned to handle the case. For purposes of choosing the
substitute handling lawyer, the rule in the immediately
preceding section shall be observed.

(c) Legal aid is purely gratuitous and honorary No member of the


chapter or member of the staff of the NCLA or chapter
legal aid office shall directly or indirectly demand or
request from an applicant or client any compensation, gift
or present for legal aid services being applied for or
rendered.

(d) Same standard of conduct and equal treatment A chapter


member who is tasked to handle a case accepted by the
NCLA or by the chapter legal aid office shall observe the
same standard of conduct governing his relations with
paying clients. He shall treat the client of the NCLA or of
the chapter legal aid office and the said clients case in a
manner that is equal and similar to his treatment of a
paying client and his case.

(e) Falsity in the application or in the affidavits Any falsity in the


application or in the affidavit of indigency or in the
affidavit of a disinterested person shall be sufficient cause
for the NCLA or chapter legal aid office to withdraw
or terminate the legal aid. For this purpose, the chapter
board of officers shall authorize the handling lawyer to file
the proper manifestation of withdrawal of appearance of
the chapter legal aid office in the case with a motion for
the dismissal of the complaint or action of the erring client.
The court, after hearing, shall approve the withdrawal of
appearance and grant the motion, without prejudice to
whatever criminal liability may have been incurred.

Violation of this policy shall disqualify the erring client from


availing of the benefits of this Rule in the future.
(f) Statement in the initiatory pleading To avail of the benefits of
the Rule, the initiatory pleading shall state as an essential
preliminary allegation that (i) the party initiating the action
is a client of the NCLA or of the chapter legal aid office
and therefore entitled to exemption from the payment of
legal fees under this Rule and (ii) a certified true copy of
the certification issued pursuant to Section 1(e), of this
Article is attached or annexed to the pleading.

Failure to make the statement shall be a ground for the dismissal


of the action without prejudice to its refiling.
The same rule shall apply in case the client, through the NCLA
or chapter legal aid office, files an appeal.

(g) Attachment of certification in initiatory pleading A certified


true copy of the certification issued pursuant to Section
1(e), of this Article shall be attached as an annex to the
initiatory pleading.

Failure to attach a certified true copy of the said


certification shall be a ground for the dismissal of the
action without prejudice to its refiling.
The same rule shall apply in case the client, through the NCLA
or chapter legal aid office, files an appeal.

(h) Signing of pleadings All complaints, petitions, answers,


replies, memoranda and other important pleadings or
motions to be filed in courts shall be signed by the
handling lawyer and co-signed by the chairperson or a
member of the chapter legal aid committee, or in urgent
cases, by the executive director of legal aid or whoever
performs his functions.

Ordinary motions such as motions for extension of time to file a


pleading or for postponement of hearing and
manifestations may be signed by the handling lawyer
alone.

(i) Motions for extension of time or for postponement The filing


of motions for extension of time to file a pleading or for
postponement of hearing shall be avoided as much as
possible as they cause delay to the case and prolong the
proceedings.

(j) Transfer of cases Transfer of cases from one handling lawyer


to another shall be affected only upon approval of the
chapter legal aid committee.

Section 4. Decision to appeal. (a) All appeals must be made on the


request of the client himself. For this purpose, the client shall be made
to fill up a request to appeal.

(b) Only meritorious cases shall be appealed. If the handling


lawyer, in consultation with the chapter legal aid committee, finds that
there is no merit to the appeal, the client should be immediately
informed thereof in writing and the record of the case turned over to
him, under proper receipt. If the client insists on appealing the case, the
lawyer handling the case should perfect the appeal before turning over
the records of the case to him.

Section 5. Protection of private practice. Utmost care shall be taken to


ensure that legal aid is neither availed of to the detriment of the private
practice of law nor taken advantage of by anyone for purely personal
ends.

ARTICLE VI
Withdrawal of Legal Aid and Termination of Exemption

Section 1. Withdrawal of legal aid. The NCLA or the chapter legal aid
committee may, in justifiable instances as provided in the next Section,
direct the handling lawyer to withdraw representation of a clients cause
upon approval of the IBP Board of Governors (in the case of the
NCLA) or of the chapter board of officers (in the case of the chapter
legal aid committee) and through a proper motion filed in Court.

Section 2. Grounds for withdrawal of legal aid. Withdrawal may be


warranted in the following situations:
(a) In a case that has been provisionally accepted, where it is
subsequently ascertained that the client is not qualified for
legal aid;

(b) Where the clients income or resources improve and he no


longer qualifies for continued assistance based on the
means test. For this purpose, on or before January 15 every
year, the client shall submit an affidavit of a disinterested
person stating that the client and his immediate family do
not earn a gross income mentioned in Section 2, Article V,
nor own any real property with the fair market value
mentioned in the same Section;

(c) When it is shown or found that the client committed a falsity


in the application or in the affidavits submitted to support
the application;

(d) When the client subsequently engages a de parte counsel or is


provided with a de oficio counsel;

(e) When, despite proper advice from the handling lawyer, the
client cannot be refrained from doing things which the
lawyer himself ought not do under the ethics of the legal
profession, particularly with reference to their conduct
towards courts, judicial officers, witnesses and litigants, or
the client insists on having control of the trial, theory of
the case, or strategy in procedure which would tend to
result in incalculable harm to the interests of the client;

(f) When, despite notice from the handling lawyer, the client does
not cooperate or coordinate with the handling lawyer to the
prejudice of the proper and effective rendition of legal aid
such as when the client fails to provide documents
necessary to support his case or unreasonably fails to
attend hearings when his presence thereat is required; and

(g) When it becomes apparent that the representation of the


clients cause will result in a representation of conflicting
interests, as where the adverse party had previously
engaged the services of the NCLA or of the chapter legal
aid office and the subject matter of the litigation is directly
related to the services previously rendered to the adverse
party.

Section 3. Effect of withdrawal. The court, after hearing, shall allow the
NCLA or the chapter legal aid office to withdraw if it is satisfied that
the ground for such withdrawal exists.

Except when the withdrawal is based on paragraphs (b), (d) and (g) of
the immediately preceding Section, the court shall also order the
dismissal of the case. Such dismissal is without prejudice to whatever
criminal liability may have been incurred if the withdrawal is based on
paragraph (c) of the immediately preceding Section.

ARTICLE VII
Miscellaneous Provisions

Section 1. Lien on favorable judgment. The amount of the docket and


other lawful fees which the client was exempted from paying shall be a
lien on any judgment rendered in the case favorable to the indigent,
unless the court otherwise provides.

In case, attorneys fees have been awarded to the client, the same shall
belong to the NCLA or to the chapter legal aid office that rendered the
legal aid, as the case may be. It shall form part of a special fund which
shall be exclusively used to support the legal aid program of the NCLA
or the chapter legal aid office. In this connection, the chapter board of
officers shall report the receipt of attorneys fees pursuant to this Section
to the NCLA within ten (10) days from receipt thereof. The NCLA
shall, in turn, include the data on attorneys fees received by IBP
chapters pursuant to this Section in its liquidation report for the annual
subsidy for legal aid.

Section 2. Duty of NCLA to prepare forms. The NCLA shall prepare the
standard forms to be used in connection with this Rule. In particular, the
NCLA shall prepare the following standard forms: the application form,
the affidavit of indigency, the supporting affidavit of a disinterested
person, the affidavit of a disinterested person required to be submitted
annually under Section 2(b), Article VI, the certification issued by the
NCLA or the chapter board of officers under Section 1(f), Article V and
the request to appeal.
The said forms, except the certification, shall be in Filipino. Within
sixty (60) days from receipt of the forms from the NCLA, the chapter
legal aid offices shall make translations of the said forms in the
dominant dialect used in their respective localities.

Section 3. Effect of Rule on right to bring suits in forma pauperis.


Nothing in this Rule shall be considered to preclude those persons not
covered either by this Rule or by the exemption from the payment of
legal fees granted to clients of the Public Attorneys Office under
Section 16-D of RA 9406 to litigate in forma pauperis under Section
21, Rule 3 and Section 19 Rule 141 of the Rules of Court.

Section 4. Compliance with Rule on Mandatory Legal Aid Service.


Legal aid service rendered by a lawyer under this Rule either as a
handling lawyer or as an interviewer of applicants under Section 1(b),
Article IV hereof shall be credited for purposes of compliance with
the Rule on Mandatory Legal Aid Service.

The chairperson of the chapter legal aid office shall issue the certificate
similar to that issued by the Clerk of Court in Section 5(b) of the Rule
on Mandatory Legal Aid Service.

ARTICLE VIII
Effectivity

Section 1. Effectivity. This Rule shall become effective after fifteen


days following its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

The above rule, in conjunction with Section 21, Rule 3 and Section 19, Rule
141 of the Rules of Court, the Rule on Mandatory Legal Aid Service and the Rule
of Procedure for Small Claims Cases, shall form a solid base of rules upon which
the right of access to courts by the poor shall be implemented. With these rules, we
equip the poor with the tools to effectively, efficiently and easily enforce their
rights in the judicial system.
A FINAL WORD

Equity will not suffer a wrong to be without a remedy. Ubi jus ibi remedium.
Where there is a right, there must be a remedy. The remedy must not only be
effective and efficient, but also readily accessible. For a remedy that is inaccessible
is no remedy at all.

The Constitution guarantees the rights of the poor to free access to the courts
and to adequate legal assistance. The legal aid service rendered by the NCLA and
legal aid offices of IBP chapters nationwide addresses only the right to adequate
legal assistance. Recipients of the service of the NCLA and legal aid offices of IBP
chapters may enjoy free access to courts by exempting them from the payment of
fees assessed in connection with the filing of a complaint or action in court. With
these twin initiatives, the guarantee of Section 11, Article III of Constitution is
advanced and access to justice is increased by bridging a significant gap and
removing a major roadblock.

WHEREFORE, the Misamis Oriental Chapter of the Integrated Bar of the


Philippines is hereby COMMENDED for helping increase the access to justice by
the poor. The request of the Misamis Oriental Chapter for the exemption from the
payment of filing, docket and other fees of the clients of the legal aid offices of the
various IBP chapters is GRANTED. The Rule on the Exemption From the
Payment of Legal Fees of the Clients of the National Committee on Legal Aid
(NCLA) and of the Legal Aid Offices in the Local Chapters of the Integrated Bar
of the Philippines (IBP) (which shall be assigned the docket number A.M. No. 08-
11-7-SC [IRR] provided in this resolution is hereby APPROVED. In this
connection, the Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to cause the publication of the said
rule in a newspaper of general circulation within five days from the promulgation
of this resolution.

The Office of the Court Administrator is hereby directed to promptly issue a


circular to inform all courts in the Philippines of the import of this resolution.

SO ORDERED.
Canon 5

EN BANC

[B.M. 850. October 2, 2001]

MANDATORY CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION

RESOLUTION
ADOPTING THE REVISED RULES ON THE CONTINUING LEGAL
EDUCATION FOR MEMBERS OF THE INTEGRATED BAR OF
THE PHILIPPINES
Considering the Rules on the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) for members
of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), recommended by the IBP, endorsed by the
Philippine Judicial Academy, and reviewed and passed upon by the Supreme Court Committee
on Legal Education, the Court hereby resolves to approve, as it hereby approves, the following
Revised Rules for proper implementation:

Rule 1. PURPOSE

SECTION 1. Purpose of the MCLE. Continuing legal education is required of members of


the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) to ensure that throughout their career, they keep
abreast with law and jurisprudence, maintain the ethics of the profession and enhance the
standards of the practice of law.

Rule 2. MANDATORY CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION

SECTION 1. Commencement of the MCLE. Within two (2) months from the approval of
these Rules by the Supreme Court En Banc, the MCLE Committee shall be constituted
andshall commence the implementation of the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE)
program in accordance with these Rules.
SEC. 2. Requirements of completion of MCLE. Members of the IBP not exempt under Rule
7 shall complete every three (3) years at least thirty-six (36) hours of continuing legal education
activities approved by the MCLE Committee. Of the 36 hours:
(a) At least six (6) hours shall be devoted to legal ethics equivalent to six (6) credit units.
(b) At least four (4) hours shall be devoted to trial and pretrial skills equivalent to four (4)
credit units.
(c) At least five (5) hours shall be devoted to alternative dispute resolution equivalent to five
(5) credit units.
(d) At least nine (9) hours shall be devoted to updates on substantive and procedural laws, and
jurisprudence equivalent to nine (9) credit units.
(e) At least four (4) hours shall be devoted to legal writing and oral advocacy equivalent to
four (4) credit units.
(f) At least two (2) hours shall be devoted to international law and international
conventions equivalent to two (2) credit units.
(g) The remaining six (6) hours shall be devoted to such subjects as may be prescribed by the
MCLE Committee equivalent to six (6) credit units.

Rule 3. COMPLIANCE PERIOD

SECTION 1. Initial compliance period. -- The initial compliance period shall begin not later
than three (3) months from the adoption of these Rules. Except for the initial compliance period
for members admitted or readmitted after the establishment of the program, all compliance
periods shall be for thirty-six (36) months and shall begin the day after the end of the previous
compliance period.
SEC. 2. Compliance Groups. -- Members of the IBP not exempt from the MCLE
requirement shall be divided into three (3) compliance groups, namely:
(a) Compliance group 1. -- Members in the National Capital Region (NCR) or Metro Manila are
assigned to Compliance Group 1.
(b) Compliance group 2. -- Members in Luzon outside NCR are assigned to Compliance Group
2.
(c) Compliance group 3. -- Members in Visayas and Mindanao are assigned to Compliance
Group 3.
Nevertheless, members may participate in any legal education activity wherever it may
be available to earn credit unit toward compliance with the MCLE requirement.
SEC. 3. Compliance period of members admitted or readmitted after establishment of the
program. Members admitted or readmitted to the Bar after the establishment of the program shall
be assigned to the appropriate Compliance Group based on their Chapter membership on the date
of admission or readmission.
The initial compliance period after admission or readmission shall begin on the first day of
the month of admission or readmission and shall end on the same day as that of all other
members in the same Compliance Group.
(a) Where four (4) months or less remain of the initial compliance period after admission or
readmission, the member is not required to comply with the program requirement for the
initial compliance.
(b) Where more than four (4) months remain of the initial compliance period after admission or
readmission, the member shall be required to complete a number of hours of approved
continuing legal education activities equal to the number of months remaining in the
compliance period in which the member is admitted or readmitted. Such member shall be
required to complete a number of hours of education in legal ethics in proportion to the
number of months remaining in the compliance period. Fractions of hours shall be rounded
up to the next whole number.

Rule 4. COMPUTATION OF CREDIT UNITS(CU)

SECTION 1. Guidelines. - CREDIT UNITS ARE EQUIVALENT TO CREDIT


HOURS. CREDIT UNITS measure compliance with the MCLE requirement under the
Rules, based on the category of the lawyers participation in the MCLE activity. The
following are the guidelines for computing credit units and the supporting documents
required therefor:

PROGRAMS/ACTIVITY CREDIT UNITS SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

1. SEMINARS, CONVENTIONS, CONFERENCES, SYMPOSIA, IN-HOUSE


EDUCATION PROGRAMS, WORKSHOPS, DIALOGUES, ROUND TABLE
DISCUSSIONS BY APPROVED PROVIDERS UNDER RULE 7 AND OTHER
RELATED RULES

1.1 PARTICIPANT/ 1 CU PER HOUR OF CERTIFICATE OF


ATTENDEE ATTENDANCE ATTENDANCE WITH
NUMBER OF HOURS
1.2 LECTURER FULL CU FOR THE PHOTOCOPY OF
RESOURCE SUBJECT PER PLAQUE OR
SPEAKER COMPLIANCE PERIOD SPONSORS
CERTIFICATION

1.3 PANELIST/REACTOR 1/2 OF CU FOR THE CERTIFICATION


COMMENTATOR/ SUBJECT PER FROM
MODERATOR/ COMPLIANCE PERIOD SPONSORING
COORDINATOR/ ORGANIZATION
FACILITATOR

2. AUTHORSHIP, EDITING AND REVIEW

2.1 LAW BOOK OF NOT FULL CU FOR THE PUBLISHED BOOK


LESS THAN 100 PAGES SUBJECT PER
COMPLIANCE PERIOD
2.2 BOOK EDITOR 1/2 OF THE CU OF PUBLISHED BOOK
AUTHORSHIP CATEGORY WITH PROOF AS
EDITOR

2.3 RESEARCH PAPER 1/2 OF CU FOR THE DULY


INNOVATIVE PROGRAM/ SUBJECT PER CERTIFIED/
CREATIVE PROJECT COMPLIANCE PERIOD PUBLISHED
TECHNICAL
REPORT/PAPER

2.4 LEGAL ARTICLE OF AT 1/2 OF CU FOR THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE


LEAST TEN (10) PAGES SUBJECT PER
COMPLIANCE PERIOD

2.5 LEGAL NEWSLETTER/ 1 CU PER ISSUE PUBLISHED


LAW JOURNAL EDITOR NEWSLETTER/JOURNAL

2.6 PROFESSORIAL CHAIR/ FULL CU FOR THE CERTIFICATION OF


BAR REVIEW LECTURE SUBJECT PER LAW DEAN OR
LAW TEACHING/ COMPLIANCE PERIOD BAR REVIEW
DIRECTOR

Rule 5. CATEGORIES OF CREDIT UNITS

SECTION 1. Classes of Credit units. -- Credit units are either participatory or non-
participatory.
SEC. 2. Claim for participatory credit units. -- Participatory credit units may be claimed
for:
(a) Attending approved education activities like seminars, conferences, conventions, symposia,
in-house education programs, workshops, dialogues or round table discussion.
(b) Speaking or lecturing, or acting as assigned panelist, reactor, commentator, resource
speaker, moderator, coordinator or facilitator in approved education activities.
(c) Teaching in a law school or lecturing in a bar review class.
SEC. 3. Claim for non-participatory credit units. Non-participatory credit units may be
claimed per compliance period for:
(a) Preparing, as an author or co-author, written materials published or accepted for publication,
e.g., in the form of an article, chapter, book, or book review which contribute to the legal
education of the author member, which were not prepared in the ordinary course of the
members practice or employment.
(b) Editing a law book, law journal or legal newsletter.
Rule 6. COMPUTATION OF CREDIT HOURS (CH)

SECTION 1. Computation of credit hours. -- Credit hours are computed based on actual
time spent in an education activity in hours to the nearest one-quarter hour reported in decimals.

Rule 7. EXEMPTIONS

SECTION 1. Parties exempted from the MCLE. -- The following members of the Bar are
exempt from the MCLE requirement:
(a) The President and the Vice President of the Philippines, and the Secretaries and
Undersecretaries of Executive Departments;
(b) Senators and Members of the House of Representatives;
(c) The Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, incumbent and retired
members of the judiciary, incumbent members of the Judicial and Bar Council and
incumbent court lawyers covered by the Philippine Judicial Academy program of continuing
judicial education;
(d) The Chief State Counsel, Chief State Prosecutor and Assistant Secretaries of the Department
of Justice;
(e) The Solicitor General and the Assistant Solicitors General;
(f) The Government Corporate Counsel, Deputy and Assistant Government Corporate Counsel;
(g) The Chairmen and Members of the Constitutional Commissions;
(h) The Ombudsman, the Overall Deputy Ombudsman, the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special
Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman;
(i) Heads of government agencies exercising quasi-judicial functions;
(j) Incumbent deans, bar reviewers and professors of law who have teaching experience for at
least ten (10) years in accredited law schools;
(k) The Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and members of the Corps of Professors and Professorial
Lecturers of the Philippine Judicial Academy; and
(l) Governors and Mayors.
SEC. 2. Other parties exempted from the MCLE. The following Members of the Bar are
likewise exempt:
(a) Those who are not in law practice, private or public.
(b) Those who have retired from law practice with the approval of the IBP Board of Governors.
SEC. 3. Good cause for exemption from or modification of requirement A member may file
a verified request setting forth good cause for exemption (such as physical disability, illness, post
graduate study abroad, proven expertise in law, etc.) from compliance with or modification of
any of the requirements, including an extension of time for compliance, in accordance with a
procedure to be established by the MCLE Committee.
SEC. 4. Change of status. The compliance period shall begin on the first day of the month in
which a member ceases to be exempt under Sections 1, 2, or 3 of this Rule and shall end on the
same day as that of all other members in the same Compliance Group.
SEC. 5. Proof of exemption. Applications for exemption from or modification of the MCLE
requirement shall be under oath and supported by documents.

Rule 8. STANDARDS FOR APPROVAL OF


EDUCATION ACTIVITIES

SECTION 1. Approval of MCLE program. Subject to the implementing regulations that


may be adopted by the MCLE Committee, continuing legal education program may be granted
approval in either of two (2) ways: (1) the provider of the activity is an accredited provider and
certifies that the activity meets the criteria of Section 2 of this Rule; and (2) the provider is
specifically mandated by law to provide continuing legal education.
SEC. 2. Standards for all education activities. All continuing legal education activities must
meet the following standards:
(a) The activity shall have significant current intellectual or practical content.
(b) The activity shall constitute an organized program of learning related to legal subjects and
the legal profession, including cross profession activities (e.g., accounting-tax or medical-
legal) that enhance legal skills or the ability to practice law, as well as subjects in legal
writing and oral advocacy.
(c) The activity shall be conducted by a provider with adequate professional experience.
(d) Where the activity is more than one (1) hour in length, substantive written materials must be
distributed to all participants. Such materials must be distributed at or before the time the
activity is offered.
(e) In-house education activities must be scheduled at a time and location so as to be free from
interruption like telephone calls and other distractions.

Rule 9. ACCREDITATION OF PROVIDERS

SECTION 1. Accreditation of providers. -- Accreditation of providers shall be done by the


MCLE Committee.
SEC. 2. Requirements for accreditation of providers. Any person or group may
be accredited as a provider for a term of two (2) years, which may be renewed, upon written
application. All providers of continuing legal education activities, including in-house providers,
are eligible to be accredited providers. Application for accreditation shall:
(a) Be submitted on a form provided by the MCLE Committee;
(b) Contain all information requested in the form;
(c) Be accompanied by the appropriate approval fee.
SEC. 3. Requirements of all providers. -- All approved accredited providers shall agree to
the following:
(a) An official record verifying the attendance at the activity shall be maintained by the provider
for at least four (4) years after the completion date. The provider shall include the member
on the official record of attendance only if the members signature was obtained at the time of
attendance at the activity. The official record of attendance shall contain the members name
and number in the Roll of Attorneys and shall identify the time, date, location, subject
matter, and length of the education activity. A copy of such record shall be furnished the
MCLE COMMITTEE.
(b) The provider shall certify that:

(1) This activity has been approved BY THE MCLE COMMITTEE in the amount of
________ hours of which ______ hours will apply in (legal ethics, etc.), as
appropriate to the content of the activity;

(2) The activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed
by these Rules and such regulations as may be prescribed by the MCLE
COMMITTEE.

(c) The provider shall issue a record or certificate to all participants identifying
the time, date, location, subject matter and length of the activity.

(d) The provider shall allow in-person observation of all approved continuing
legal education activity by THE MCLE COMMITTEE, members of the IBP
Board of Governors, or designees of the Committee and IBP staff Board for
purposes of monitoring compliance with these Rules.

(e) The provider shall indicate in promotional materials, the nature of the activity,
the time devoted to each topic and identity of the instructors. The provider shall
make available to each participant a copy of THE MCLE COMMITTEE-
approved Education Activity Evaluation Form.

(f) The provider shall maintain the completed Education Activity Evaluation
Forms for a period of not less than one (1) year after the activity, copy
furnished the MCLE COMMITTEE.

(g) Any person or group who conducts an unauthorized activity under this
program or issues a spurious certificate in violation of these Rules shall be
subject to appropriate sanctions.

SEC. 4. Renewal of provider accreditation. The accreditation of a provider may be


renewed every two (2) years. It may be denied if the provider fails to comply with any of the
requirements of these Rules or fails to provide satisfactory education activities for the preceding
period.
SEC. 5. Revocation of provider accreditation. -- the accreditation of any provider referred
to in Rule 9 may be revoked by a majority vote of the MCLE Committee, after notice and
hearing and for good cause.

Rule 10. FEE FOR APPROVAL OF ACTIVITY AND ACCREDITATION OF PROVIDER

SECTION 1. Payment of fees. Application for approval of an education activity or


accreditation as a provider requires payment of the appropriate fee as provided in the Schedule of
MCLE Fees.

Rule 11. GENERAL COMPLIANCE PROCEDURES

SECTION 1. Compliance card. -- Each member shall secure from the MCLE Committee a
Compliance Card before the end of his compliance period. He shall complete the card by
attesting under oath that he has complied with the education requirement or that he is exempt,
specifying the nature of the exemption. Such Compliance Card must be returned to
the Committee not later than the day after the end of the members compliance period.
SEC. 2. Member record keeping requirement. -- Each member shall maintain sufficient
record of compliance or exemption, copy furnished the MCLE Committee. The record required
to be provided to the members by the provider pursuant to Section 3 of Rule 9 should be a
sufficient record of attendance at a participatory activity. A record of non-participatory activity
shall also be maintained by the member, as referred to in Section 3 of Rule 5.

Rule 12. NON-COMPLIANCE PROCEDURES

SECTION 1. What constitutes non-compliance. The following shall constitute non-


compliance:
(a) Failure to complete the education requirement within the compliance period;
(b) Failure to provide attestation of compliance or exemption;
(c) Failure to provide satisfactory evidence of compliance (including evidence of exempt status)
within the prescribed period;
(d) Failure to satisfy the education requirement and furnish evidence of such compliance within
sixty (60) days from receipt of non-compliance notice;
(e) Failure to pay non-compliance fee within the prescribed period;
(f) Any other act or omission analogous to any of the foregoing or intended to circumvent or
evade compliance with the MCLE requirements.
SEC. 2. Non-compliance notice and 60-day period to attain compliance. -Members failing
to comply will receive a Non-Compliance Notice stating the specific deficiency and will be
given sixty (60) days from the date of notification to file a response clarifying the deficiency or
otherwise showing compliance with the requirements. Such notice shall contain the following
language near the beginning of the notice in capital letters:

IF YOU FAIL TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE PROOF OF COMPLIANCE WITH


THE MCLE REQUIREMENT BY (INSERT DATE 60 DAYS FROM DATE OF
NOTICE), YOU SHALL BE LISTED AS A DELINQUENT MEMBER AND
SHALL NOT BE PERMITTED TO PRACTICE LAW UNTIL SUCH TIME AS
ADEQUATE PROOF OF COMPLIANCE IS RECEIVED BY THE MCLE
COMMITTEE.

Members given sixty (60) days to respond to a Non-Compliance Notice may use
this period to attain the adequate number of credit units for compliance.
Credit units earned during this period may only be counted toward compliance
with the prior compliance period requirement unless units in excess of the
requirement are earned, in which case the excess may be counted toward meeting
the current compliance period requirement.

Rule 13. CONSEQUENCES OF NON-COMPLIANCE

SECTION 1. Non-compliance fee. -- A member who, for whatever reason, is in non-


compliance at the end of the compliance period shall pay a non-compliance fee.
SEC. 2. Listing as delinquent member. -- A member who fails to comply with the
requirements after the sixty (60) day period for compliance has expired, shall be listed as a
delinquent member of the IBP upon the recommendation of the MCLE Committee. The
investigation of a member for non-compliance shall be conducted by the IBPs Commission on
Bar Discipline as a fact-finding arm of the MCLE Committee.
SEC. 3. Accrual of membership fee. -- Membership fees shall continue to accrue at the
active rate against a member during the period he/she is listed as a delinquent member.

Rule 14. REINSTATEMENT

SECTION 1. Process. -- The involuntary listing as a delinquent member shall be terminated


when the member provides proof of compliance with the MCLE requirement, including payment
of non-compliance fee. A member may attain the necessary credit units to meet the requirement
for the period of non-compliance during the period the member is on inactive status. These
credit units may not be counted toward meeting the current compliance period requirement.
Credit units earned during the period of non-compliance in excess of the number needed to
satisfy the prior compliance period requirement may be counted toward meeting the current
compliance period requirement.
SEC. 2. Termination of delinquent listing is an administrative process. The termination of
listing as a delinquent member is administrative in nature AND it shall be made by the MCLE
Committee.

Rule. 15. COMMITTEE ON MANDATORY CONTINUING


LEGAL EDUCATION

SECTION 1. Composition. The MCLE Committee shall be composed of five (5) members,
namely, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court as Chair, and four (4) members respectively
nominated by the IBP, the Philippine Judicial Academy, a law center designated by the Supreme
Court and associations of law schools and/or law professors.
The members of the Committee shall be of proven probity and integrity. They shall be
appointed by the Supreme Court for a term of three (3) years and shall receive such
compensation as may be determined by the Court.
SEC. 2. Duty of committee. The MCLE Committee shall administer and adopt such
implementing rules as may be necessary subject to the approval of the Supreme Court. It shall, in
consultation with the IBP Board of Governors, prescribe a schedule of MCLE fees with the
approval of the Supreme Court.
SEC. 3. Staff of the MCLE Committee. Subject to approval by the Supreme Court, the
MCLE Committee shall employ such staff as may be necessary to perform the record-keeping,
auditing, reporting, approval and other necessary functions.
SEC. 4. Submission of annual budget. The MCLE Committee shall submit to the Supreme
Court for approval, an annual budget [for a subsidy] to establish, operate and maintain the
MCLE Program.
This resolution shall take effect on the fifteenth of September 2000, following its publication
in two (2) newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines.
Adopted this 22nd day of August, 2000, as amended on 02 October 2001.
Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Pardo,
Buena, Ynares-Santiago, De Leon, Jr., and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.
Kapunan, J., on official leave.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

B.M. No. 1922 June 3, 2008

RE. NUMBER AND DATE OF MCLE CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION/EXEMPTION REQUIRED


IN ALL PLEADINGS/MOTIONS.

Sirs/Mesdames:

Quoted hereunder, for your information is a resolution of the Court En Banc dated June 3, 2008

"Bar Matter No. 1922. – Re: Recommendation of the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE)
Board to Indicate in All Pleadings Filed with the Courts the Counsel’s MCLE Certificate of
Compliance or Certificate of Exemption. – The Court Resolved to NOTE the Letter, dated May 2,
2008, of Associate Justice Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura, Chairperson, Committee on Legal
Education and Bar Matters, informing the Court of the diminishing interest of the members of the Bar
in the MCLE requirement program.

The Court further Resolved, upon the recommendation of the Committee on Legal Education and
Bar Matters, to REQUIRE practicing members of the bar to INDICATE in all pleadings filed before
the courts or quasi-judicial bodies, the number and date of issue of their MCLE Certificate of
Compliance or Certificate of Exemption, as may be applicable, for the immediately preceding
compliance period. Failure to disclose the required information would cause the dismissal of
the case and the expunction of the pleadings from the records.

The New Rule shall take effect sixty (60) days after its publication in a newspaper of general
circulation." Caprio-Morales Velasco, Jr., Nachura, JJ., on official leave. (adv216a)

Very truly yours,

MA. LUISA D. VILLARAMA(sgd)


Clerk of Court
REPUBLIC ACT No. 3019

ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT

Section 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. In addition to acts or omissions of public officers
already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer
and are hereby declared to be unlawful:

(a) Persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a
violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in
connection with the official duties of the latter, or allowing himself to be persuaded, induced,
or influenced to commit such violation or offense.

(b) Directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present, share, percentage, or
benefit, for himself or for any other person, in connection with any contract or transaction
between the Government and any other part, wherein the public officer in his official capacity
has to intervene under the law.

(c) Directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present or other pecuniary or
material benefit, for himself or for another, from any person for whom the public officer, in
any manner or capacity, has secured or obtained, or will secure or obtain, any Government
permit or license, in consideration for the help given or to be given, without prejudice to
Section thirteen of this Act.

(d) Accepting or having any member of his family accept employment in a private enterprise
which has pending official business with him during the pendency thereof or within one year
after its termination.

(e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private
party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official
administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross
inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or
government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions.

(f) Neglecting or refusing, after due demand or request, without sufficient justification, to act
within a reasonable time on any matter pending before him for the purpose of obtaining,
directly or indirectly, from any person interested in the matter some pecuniary or material
benefit or advantage, or for the purpose of favoring his own interest or giving undue
advantage in favor of or discriminating against any other interested party.

(g) Entering, on behalf of the Government, into any contract or transaction manifestly and
grossly disadvantageous to the same, whether or not the public officer profited or will profit
thereby.

(h) Director or indirectly having financing or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or
transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity, or in
which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any law from having any interest.

(i) Directly or indirectly becoming interested, for personal gain, or having a material interest in
any transaction or act requiring the approval of a board, panel or group of which he is a
member, and which exercises discretion in such approval, even if he votes against the same
or does not participate in the action of the board, committee, panel or group.

Interest for personal gain shall be presumed against those public officers responsible for the
approval of manifestly unlawful, inequitable, or irregular transaction or acts by the board,
panel or group to which they belong.

(j) Knowingly approving or granting any license, permit, privilege or benefit in favor of any
person not qualified for or not legally entitled to such license, permit, privilege or advantage,
or of a mere representative or dummy of one who is not so qualified or entitled.

(k) Divulging valuable information of a confidential character, acquired by his office or by him
on account of his official position to unauthorized persons, or releasing such information in
advance of its authorized release date.

The person giving the gift, present, share, percentage or benefit referred to in subparagraphs (b) and
(c); or offering or giving to the public officer the employment mentioned in subparagraph (d); or
urging the divulging or untimely release of the confidential information referred to in subparagraph
(k) of this section shall, together with the offending public officer, be punished under Section nine of
this Act and shall be permanently or temporarily disqualified in the discretion of the Court, from
transacting business in any form with the Government.

Republic Act No. 6713 February 20, 1989

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICAL STANDARDS FOR PUBLIC


OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES, TO UPHOLD THE TIME-HONORED PRINCIPLE OF PUBLIC
OFFICE BEING A PUBLIC TRUST, GRANTING INCENTIVES AND REWARDS FOR
EXEMPLARY SERVICE, ENUMERATING PROHIBITED ACTS AND TRANSACTIONS AND
PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Section 7. Prohibited Acts and Transactions. - In addition to acts and omissions of public officials
and employees now prescribed in the Constitution and existing laws, the following shall constitute
prohibited acts and transactions of any public official and employee and are hereby declared to be
unlawful:

(a) Financial and material interest. - Public officials and employees shall not, directly or
indirectly, have any financial or material interest in any transaction requiring the approval of
their office.

(b) Outside employment and other activities related thereto. - Public officials and employees
during their incumbency shall not:

(1) Own, control, manage or accept employment as officer, employee, consultant,


counsel, broker, agent, trustee or nominee in any private enterprise regulated,
supervised or licensed by their office unless expressly allowed by law;

(2) Engage in the private practice of their profession unless authorized by the
Constitution or law, provided, that such practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with
their official functions; or
(3) Recommend any person to any position in a private enterprise which has a
regular or pending official transaction with their office.

These prohibitions shall continue to apply for a period of one (1) year after resignation,
retirement, or separation from public office, except in the case of subparagraph (b) (2)
above, but the professional concerned cannot practice his profession in connection with any
matter before the office he used to be with, in which case the one-year prohibition shall
likewise apply.

(c) Disclosure and/or misuse of confidential information. - Public officials and employees
shall not use or divulge, confidential or classified information officially known to them by
reason of their office and not made available to the public, either:

(1) To further their private interests, or give undue advantage to anyone; or

(2) To prejudice the public interest.

(d) Solicitation or acceptance of gifts. - Public officials and employees shall not solicit or
accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or anything of
monetary value from any person in the course of their official duties or in connection with any
operation being regulated by, or any transaction which may be affected by the functions of
their office.

As to gifts or grants from foreign governments, the Congress consents to:

(i) The acceptance and retention by a public official or employee of a gift of nominal
value tendered and received as a souvenir or mark of courtesy;

(ii) The acceptance by a public official or employee of a gift in the nature of a


scholarship or fellowship grant or medical treatment; or

(iii) The acceptance by a public official or employee of travel grants or expenses for
travel taking place entirely outside the Philippine (such as allowances, transportation,
food, and lodging) of more than nominal value if such acceptance is appropriate or
consistent with the interests of the Philippines, and permitted by the head of office,
branch or agency to which he belongs.

The Ombudsman shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the
purpose of this subsection, including pertinent reporting and disclosure requirements.

Nothing in this Act shall be construed to restrict or prohibit any educational, scientific or
cultural exchange programs subject to national security requirements.