Two Memoranda of Agreement were signed between the University of Makati through its School of Law and two entities championing in providing for legal education and assistance.
Represented by the President-OIC, Dr. Elyxzur Ramos, UMak entered into agreements with the Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS), and the Philippine Earth Justice Center (PEJC), Inc.
IDEALS, represented by its Executive Director, Mr. Edgardo Libon, is a non-stock, non-profit legal focused advocacy and service institution organized to address the legal and technical needs of the marginalized, disempowered, and vulnerable groups, particularly the agrarian reform beneficiaries, farmer-traders, migrant sectors, persons, and communities affected by disasters, and victims of human rights violations.
This Agreement between UMak and IDEALS aims to establish legal aid clinics in Makati City, among other cities, to provide for free legal aid services to the city’s constituents, utilizing the former’s ‘Tisya Hustisya’, an online chatbot mechanism that is capable of giving preliminary legal advice to persons who require legal aid. In cases when legal inquirers would seek further legal consultations, services, or representation, IDEALS shall refer the case to other groups or institutions that may better provide for the assistance needed by the clients.
On the other hand, the Philippine Earth Justice Center, Inc, or PEJC, hopes to implement a project called “Mainstreaming Environmental Justice through Legal Green Clinics”, aiming to facilitate the establishment of environmental law clinics pushing for the full implementation of environmental laws. It is also the goal of this organization to conduct capacity building trainings for local communities and paralegals for improved enforcement of environmental laws, develop legal environmental resource materials and educate different sectors in the community on their rights and obligations to protect and preserve the environment and their right to demand accountability for failure to enforce environmental laws, and create policy recommendations to improve compliance with relevant environmental laws, rules and regulations of individuals and private corporations.
PEJC, represented by its Managing Trustee, Atty. Christopher John Menguito, is a non-stock and non-profit corporation which was established to provide legal assistance to victims of environmental injustice, conduct policy research on the environment, advocate policy reforms, assist in building local capacities for environmental protection and promote sustainability and protection of human rights.
Written by: Ms. Dianne Bolo, UMak CLCDP