Need for more lawyers, sufficient LEB budget pushed | Inquirer News

Need for more lawyers, sufficient LEB budget pushed

By: - Reporter / @FArgosinoINQ
/ 03:25 PM February 21, 2023

bar exam

File photo shows Bar examinees, their relatives snd friends awaiting the release of list of passers from the Supreme Court. ( RYAN LEAGOGO)

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Raffy Tulfo on Tuesday stressed the need for more lawyers and the importance of passing two bills he filed to “strengthen the country’s legal education and improve every Filipino’s access to quality justice.” 

Tulfo was referring to the Free Legal Education Act or Senate Bill (SB) 1610 and the Revised Legal Education Reform Act or SB 1653, which he filed on December 20 last year and January 11, 2023, respectively.


“I filed SB 1610 and 1653 not only to strengthen the country’s legal education but ultimately to improve everyone’s access to quality justice, especially for our fellow Filipinos in need,” Tulfo said at the hearing of the Senate Committee on Higher, Technical and Vocational Education.


Tulfo, in an earlier statement, cited a shortage of private practice attorneys, adding that approximately 40,000 members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines make up the bar, but the number of practicing lawyers has declined.

This means that there is only one lawyer for every 2,500 individuals, way over the ideal ratio of one lawyer for every 250 persons.

LEB budget blues

During the hearing, the Legal Education Board (LEB) raised the issue of  the budget it has been receiving from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) as presented by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). 

“The budget being assigned to us by the DBM on the basis of the presentation of CHED has been very minuscule,” LEB Chairperson Anna Marie Melanie B. Trinidad told Tulfo. 

“For many years, we have been receiving an average of 20 million pesos, and that is really very, very insignificant for us to survive as the agency supposedly in charge of monitoring and supervising legal education,” she added. 

Trinidad further noted that LEB hasn’t been receiving feedback from the CHED regarding its proposed increase in budget, adding that the latter would only “slash” its proposal. 


“They slash the budget, and then they don’t give you the courtesy of letting you know na number one this is the reason, two, three, four? So disrespectful ‘tong CHED,” Tulfo remarked.

 (This is so disrespectful on the part of CHED.)

Trinidad also revealed that LEB sought the assistance of Speaker Martin Romualdez and Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, who asked CHED to give the agency an additional P50 million budget. 


Under the bills, Tulfo said, “the LEB will be empowered with broadened authority and functions in a much-needed budgetary autonomy; it will no longer be attached to CHED for budgetary purposes.”

“This way I highly expect the LEB to realize its full potential and uplift the quality of our legal education to long overdue educational reforms and pedagogical imprudence,” Tulfo said.  

“Ang hihilingin ko lang sana ay commitment sa LEB na makatulong sila para dumami ang mahuhusay nating abogado para di na mahirapan ang ating kababayan na humanap ng hustisya,” he added.

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(My only request is a commitment from LEB that they will help produce more quality lawyers so that our fellow Filipinos in need won’t have a hard time seeking and fighting for justice.)


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TAGS: Ched, Lawyer, Senate

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