UPCOMING takers of the November 2021 Bar exams in Cebu can now avail themselves of free notarization for their Petition to Take the Bar Exam under the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Cebu’s Barristers One-Stop Shop (Boss) program.
Lawyer Alen Joel Pita, IBP Cebu’s elected director, said this is part of the Chapter’s Bar Assistance Program tailored for the needs of barristers amid the implementation of stricter community quarantines in Cebu.
Pita said they have come up with this bayanihan act after meeting representatives of those who will take the November 2021 Bar exams from different law schools in Cebu.
Considering that the Bar exams this year entail a lot of innovations, as they will be computerized for the first time, Pita acknowledged the extra struggles of barristers in complying with the new requirements.
“We listened to them and there are a lot of suggestions from them and one of these is about notarization,” he said in a mix of English and Cebuano.
He said the cost of having the Petition to Take the Bar Exam notarized under the IBP standard minimum rates is P1,000.
“We decided to have it for free because we consider them, who will take the Bar exams, as future members of the legal profession and the Integrated Bar. This is our way of giving back,” he added.
Pita said they have volunteer lawyers not only from Cebu City, but across Cebu, specifically in Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, Talisay City, Carcar City, Toledo City, Bantayan Island, and in northern and southern areas of Cebu Province. Initially, 44 volunteer notary public lawyers have supported the program.
The program is ongoing and is set to end on September 15, the last day of the filing of application to take the November 2021 Bar examination.
Pita said with the cancellation of the November 2020 bar exams because of the Covid-19 pandemic, they expect more exam takers for this year.
He said they are also working on providing laptop computer optimization service for barristers, especially those who are not tech-savvy.
With the upcoming type-written Bar exam, he said, the Supreme Court has given specifications for laptop computers to be used and requires a certain software for the exam.
The laptop optimization service is to ensure that the taker’s laptop computer does not lag, among other technical glitches, during the actual examinations.
He also said they have already asked the Bureau of Internal Revenue for the procurement of the necessary number of documentary stamps for barristers to have easy access to these amid the skeletal workforce arrangement in government offices.
He said that as of now, they are also still finding ways to come up with a convenient swab testing set-up with a minimal fee for the barristers, adding that one of the requirements to take the Bar is a negative swab test result.
Pita said they are also looking for ways to have barristers, who do not belong to the priority groups A3 and A4 or persons with comorbidities and other economic workers, to be vaccinated before they take the Bar.
He said they are also set to organize seminars and interactive talks for the benefit of those who will be taking the exams. (WBS)