By Rey E. Requejo
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has launched its Pro Bono Portal (PBP) where indigent litigants nationwide can now avail themselves of free legal services online through the IBP’s “web-based legal aid platform.”
In its advisory, the IBP said its lawyers and legal aids nationwide have started their training.
“To avail legal aid services, a potential client can apply for legal assistance through the PBP which can be easily searched by typing ‘IBP pro bono portal‘ or ‘IBP free legal aid,’” the IBP stressed.
“The system then sends the application to the IBP Chapter concerned which can filter out the application and assign it to the member,” he said.
It also said the other important features of the PBP include “the integration of the means and merits test and its language translations to Pilipino and Cebuano.”
The IBP assured that “the PBP is free, secure, inclusive, and designed to be responsive to the needs of indigenous Filipinos while highlighting the competence and integrity of the Bar’s pro bono legal aid programs.”
It said the training of lawyers and their legal aids is being done by the American Bar Association-Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI). The training started last April 20.
“The PBP was developed by Justice Connect, a non-profit company based in Australia which supports organizations in various jurisdictions including inter alia, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Germany,” the IBP said.
“The development of the PBP was made possible through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supported ‘Access to Justice and Support for the Rule of Law’ program of ABA ROLI,” it added.
It also said that the technology of Justice Connect “effectively and efficiently connects clients and pro bono lawyers and law firms in a system that draws from an understanding of the outcomes of its work and is guided by the needs of its users.”