Thursday, February 27, 2020

No more justice denied: Fidel Nograles wants to give PAO a boost

Sep 6, 2019 @ 22:34

Rizal Rep. Fidel Nograles wants to modernize the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) so it can help more Filipinos who cannot afford legal services or who deserve free legal assistance.

Nograles has filed the PAO Modernization Act bill, which seeks to ensure that a legal defense and representation fund is available in all government offices to help officials and employees who may need legal assistance.

The bill also raises the retirement benefits of PAO personnel to be equivalent to the National Prosecution Service under the Prosecution Service Act of 2010, including its future amendments.

It likewise proposes the conduct of a legal needs study by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in order for Congress to understand the basic access to justice needs of the people so proper legislation may be developed and implemented.

Nograles, a lawyer, said there is a need to broaden access to justice by both the complainant and petitioner as clients, and further include legal assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, other government officials and employees, as well as sectoral and advocacy groups.

“In my free legal advice outreach programs to poor communities in my province, I have met all kinds of people with all kinds of legal problems. Many may appear simple and easy for the educated, but for those who do not know anything about our laws and their processes and procedures, they could be make or break situations, or could even lead to a matter of life of death circumstances,” he said.

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