12 Philippine Free Legal Advice Groups

by | Nov 23, 2018 | Uncategorized

Scales of Justice

This is a list of free legal advice organizations in the Philippines.

I sincerely hope this helps everyone better access the courts.

I provide a starting point but you would have to call or go to the actual organizations to clarify actual requirements, telephone numbers or the detailed processes of how to avail of these services.

Take note, I may not be able to answer questions on how to apply since I have not been through the process as an applicant. .

It is best to get in touch with the actual organization itself.

They would know the details best.

Table of Contents

Government Organizations
Special Interest Groups
University Legal Aid Offices

Government Organizations

Government offices are available nationwide.
They are the go-to source for legal advice for child support, criminal issues or labor concerns.
Find their contact information and other available data below.

Public Attorney's Office

1. Public Attorney’s Office

Area Served: Nationwide

Contact Information:
Address: Located in your local hall of justice which is usually in the municipal or town hall.
Website: http://www.pao.gov.ph/

Focus: The PAO only serves those whose income is less than the amount identified below.

  • Php 14,000 for Metro Manila
  • Php 13,000 for other cities
  • Php 12,000 elsewhere

They cannot not serve in cases where:

  • When there is a conflict of interest
  • Have higher income than that which is indicated above
  • Defend in a bouncing checks case
  • Prosecute criminal cases
  • Adoption cases except where the adopter is the biological parent or step-parent of the adoptee

Requirements:

  • An Affidavit of Indigency
  • Latest Income Tax Return or pay slip or other proofs of income
  • Certificate of Indigency from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, its local District Office, or the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office having jurisdiction over the residence of the applicant

Notes:

The PAO is your go-to source for free legal aid and should be considered especially if your need is urgent and income is tight.

The difference between a PAO lawyer and a private lawyer is in their workload and in the continuity of their service.

A PAO lawyer handled 458 cases on average in 2017 while a private lawyer might only handle 40. This means less time per client.

In addition, there is frequent turnover for cases meaning that your PAO lawyer will likely change over the course of the case. An average case can take years so you might work with many lawyers over time.

DOLE logo

2. Department of Labor and Employment

Area Served: Nationwide

Contact Information:

Address:
Main Office: Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Building, Muralla Wing cor. General Luna St., Intramuros, Manila, 1002 Philippines.
Local DOLE offices can be found all over the country but you’d have to locate what the nearest one is.
Telephone: 1349 from landlines
Email: https://www.dole.gov.ph/queries/submit

Focus: Only labor related complaints

Requirements: Please check with your local DOLE

Department of Social Welfare and Development Logo

3. Department of Social Welfare and Development

Area Served: Nationwide

Contact Information:

Address:
Main Office: 389 San Rafael Street corner Legarda Street, Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines
Local DSWD offices can be found all over the country but you’d have to locate what the nearest one is.
Telephone: +63-2-733-0010 to 18
Email: foncr@dswd.gov.ph

Focus: Only social work complaints such as women and children issues

Requirements: Please check with your local DSWD

Special Interest Groups

Office Tower of a Special Interest Group

Special interest legal aid groups give assistance to a particular cause.
They may serve human rights goals or cater to marginalized sectors of society.
Although they may take cases that are nationwide, they are only found in a few areas.

Saligan Logo

4. Saligan

Area Served: Naga and Davao

Contact Information:

Address: G/F Hoffner Building, Social Development Complex, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines
Telephone: (632) 426-6001 loc. 4858-4860
Email: aligan@saligan.org

Focus: Handles women, workers, the urban poor, indigenous, moro and peace

Requirements: Call or go in person to see what is possible.

FLAG Logo

5. Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG)

FLAG Logo
Area Served: Nationwide

Contact Information:

Address: Room 116 Alumni Center Annex, Magsaysay Avenue, UP Campus, Diliman, Quezon City
Telephone: +63 2 920 5132
Website: http://flagfaqs.blogspot.com/
Email: flag@flag.com.ph

Focus: Human rights

Requirements: Call or go in person to see what is possible.

University Legal Aid Offices

University Teacher with a Blackboard

Universities with legal programs have free aid clinics.
Run by senior law students under the supervision of a practicing lawyer, they often accept cases for indigents.
I’ve listed several but check universities near you as well.

Ateneo De Manila Law

6. Ateneo Legal Services Center (ALSC)

Area Served: Makati and Mandaluyong

Contact Information:

Address: 20 Rockwell Drive, Rockwell Center 1200 Makati City, Philippines
Telephone: +63 (02) 899-7691 ext. 2113
Website: http://www.ateneo.edu/aps/law/ateneo-law-center/ateneo-legal-services-center
Email: alsc.law@ ateneo.edu

Focus: ALSC only serves indigent clients with:

  • Php 14,000 for Metro Manila
  • Php 13,000 for other cities
  • Php 12,000 elsewhere

They cannot not serve in cases where for:

  • Sum of money
  • Annulment
  • Bouncing checks case
  • Forfeiture or
  • Other cases that are not consistent with the indigency claim.

Requirements:

  • An affidavit of indigency
  • Latest Income Tax Return or pay slip or other proofs of income
  • Certificate of Indigency from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, its local District Office, or the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office having jurisdiction over the residence of the applicant
  • Latest Income Tax Return or pay slip or other proofs of income

Notes:

Expect to work with several different student lawyers over the course of your case. It is important to know the details of your case well so as to be able to introduce each lawyer to the facts over time. Although there is documentation, it is important to fill in data gaps that may exist.

UP Diliman Law Logo

7. University of the Philippines Office of Legal Aid

Area: Metro Manila

Contact Information:

Address: Office of Legal Aid, UP College of Law, Malcolm Hall, Diliman Quezon City
Telephone: +63-2-920-5514 loc. 106
Website: http://law.upd.edu.ph/office-of-legal-aid/

Focus: UP only serves indigent clients but you would have to find out how they determine what an indigent is.

Requirements: UP needs to be contacted directly to determine what the requirements are.

Notes: As with many student programs listed here, expect that your case will be managed by several students over the course of the case.

San Beda Legal Aid Bureau Logo

8. San Beda Legal Aid Bureau, Manila

Area: Around Manila

Contact Information:

Main
San Beda College Mendiola, Manila
Phone: (02) 735-6011 local 6120
Schedule: M-W-F 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Quiapo Branch
3rd Floor Legal Council Office
Pop Benedict VI Building
Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene
910 Plaza Miranda, Quiapo, Manila
Schedule: T-TH 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Pandacan Branch
Sinag sa Sais Center
Pandacan, Manila
Schedule: F 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Focus: Serves those of limited means

Requirements: There is an application process but you would need to call or go in person to find out these details.

San Beda Legal Aid Bureau Logo

9. San Beda Legal Aid Bureau, Alabang

Area: Around Alabang

Contact Information:

Address: 8 Don Manolo Blvd., Alabang Hills Village, Alabang, 1770 Muntinlupa City, P.O. Box 402 Ayala Alabang
Phone Number: +63-2-236-7222 trunkline
Website: http://www.sanbeda-alabang.edu.ph/bede/index.php/other-links/archives-ay-2012-2013/361-sol-legal-aid-bureau

Focus: Serves those of limited means

Requirements: There is an application process but you would need to call or go in person to find out these details.

UST Law Logo

10. University of St. Thomas, RJ Roberto Concepcion Legal Aid

Area: Around Manila

Contact Information:

Address: Espana Blvd., Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines 1008
Phone Number: +63(02) 731-4027 / +63(02) 406-1611 (Local 8225)
Website: http://www.ustcivillaw.com/cj-roberto-concepcion-legal-aid

Focus: Extends free legal assistance assistance to indigents and those belonging to the marginalized sector

Requirements: There is an application process but you would need to call or go in person to find out these details.

San Sebastian College of Law Logo

11. Sebastinian Office of Legal Aid

Area: Around Manila

Contact Information:

Address: Recto Ave, Quiapo, Manila, 1001 Metro Manila
Telephone: +63-2-734-8931 Local: 313 & 173
Website: http://law.sscrmnl.edu.ph/contact-information/

Focus: You would have to call or go in person to know.

Requirements: You would have to call or go in person to know.

Xavier University Logo

12. Xavier University Center for Legal Assistance

Area Served: Cagayan De Oro

Contact Information:

Address: Xavier Unviersity – Ateneo de Cagayan, Corrales Avenue, Cagayan de Oro City, 9000, Philippines
Telephone: (088) 853-9800 Local 9176 / 9177 / 9180 / 9181
Email: xucla@xu.edu.ph
Website: http://www.xu.edu.ph/xavier-university-center-for-legal-assistance

Focus: Specifically for the poor and marginalized.

Requirements: Call to determine what documents you need to prepare in advance

17 Comments

  1. gina

    Magkano po Ang charge nyo at how many weeks process Ang Philippines Judicial Acknowledgement Sa Foreign divorce in EU?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  2. cheche

    Hi magkano po ang consultation fee nyo po? for child support.

    Reply
  3. Paola

    Hi po.san po pwede humingi ng libreng tulong from attorney regarding illegal dismissal, pregnant discrimination. Salamat po

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Dear Paola:

      Please see above organizations that give free legal advice.

      They can certainly help you.

      Reply
  4. Ana

    Good Day Atty.!

    May I inquire certain legal matter regarding Marriage Certificate.

    Is Confidential Marriage Certificate Solemnized in California by both Filipino Citizens valid in the Philippines upon reporting of marriage at DFA?

    The California Confidential Marriage Certificate requires NO witness however, in our Law of Marrige there is a NEED for two witnesses.

    I reviewed the Report for Marriage FORM and it has spaces for two Witnesses. Is it valid if I leave it blank since My Marriage Certificate doesn’t have any? Or would DFA validate it since it doesn’t have witnesses?

    Your legal advice is deeply appreciated.

    Thank you and more blessings ahead.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
      • Nissa

        Hi!
        Any recommendations for anullment application? I’m not indigent however, my monthly income is just exactly right for all my bills and other liabilities as a head of the family. Pls advice where can I seek assistance for my marriage anullment application.

      • Lawyers in the Philippines

        Dear Nissa:

        I do not know of any free service that currently handles annulments for non-indigents.

        Those that I am aware of require indigency.

        We are private lawyers ourselves and do not have a pro-bono arm at the moment.

  5. Les

    Hello, I’m asking for my friend, where can we ask for help regarding hospital negligence?
    Please, we really need some help 😞

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      If you wish to pursue a case for medical malpractice, you must have a expert witness (i.e. another doctor) to testify that there was error.

      As such, medical malpractice cases are often very difficult to pursue.

      However, you may consult with the PAO if you are determined to push through with this case.

      Currently, the office does not have the resources to be able to pursue pro-bono cases.

      Reply
  6. Leo

    Blessed day po.

    I have applied for the Red Ribbon of my Marriage Certificate thru LBC since I am an OFW however it was rejected by the DFA since my name in the Marriage Certificate is misspelled as compared to my passport and birth certificate. How can I have this corrected?

    Looking forward for your reply. Thanks and God bless.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent an email.

      Reply
  7. Eds

    Hi! I want to inquire if how much is the judicial acknowledgement of divorce acquired by a foreign spouse abroad and how long will it take? Your response is highly appreciated and thank you in advance.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  8. Ana Mercedes

    My mom passed away last April 9. Five days before her death, she asked her nurse to contact her friend to go to the hospital (where she was confined) since she has to give that person some orders. Apparently, my mom told her to make a last will and testament and dictated to her what she wants to be written on her will. She arrived after lunch and came back in the evening along with her 2 sisters, niece as witnesses and a notary public. The nurse was the 4th witness. My question is, is it right that all of her witnesses are her relatives, except for the nurse. They are not even our relatives!

    Hope you could help.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi:

      As long as the witnesses are of sound mind, 18 years of age, able to read and write, not blind, deaf or dumb, not have been convicted by final judgement of falsification, perjury or false testimony and domiciled in the Philippines, they can be witnesses to your mother’s will.

      Reply

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