Law studes bring fight against red tape online

Posted on October 3, 2011

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Law students of the University of Cebu-Banilad campus are bringing the information campaign about government red tape, elections, and child protection online with the recent launching of three web sites dedicated to tackle these issues.

These web sites are “Sugbo Talks Against Red Tape” (START), the “Elections: Cebu Advocates of Reforms and Education” (ECARE), and the Child Protection Online Legal Aid.

Screen shot of the Sugbo Talks Against Red Tape (START)

Lawyer Gloria Ramos of UC-Banilad College of Law said the difference between these three web sites and the government websites was that the UC law students’ web sites provide free legal aid to the public.

“There is no legal aid for the children in the government web sites. “Child Protection Online Legal Aid” web site focuses on child protection,” she said.

She also cited the advantages of the two other websites.

The START web site provides red tape remedies unavailable on the COMELEC web site, and the ECARE web site focuses on Cebu and registrants in Cebu.

“It provides more information and knowledge to people that red tape exists in Cebu.” she said.

The START web site also serves as a venue for the public to share their experiences in dealing with the local government units (LGU’s), agencies and offices, with focus on delivery of front line services.

It supports the Republic Act 9485 (Anti Red Tape Act) in promoting “integrity, accountability, proper management of public affairs and public property as well as establish effective practices aimed at the prevention of graft and corruption in government.

“The START website is user-friendly, it has a forum where people can interact and post their questions. It has downloadable forms like commendation forms, request for assistance, complaint and recommendation. We hope that people will gain knowledge of their rights and the mandates of the law.” Law student Richard Jon San Miguel said.

Cebu City Administrator Jose Marie Poblete said the website is a good start for the “involvement” of students in helping promote transparency and efficiency in the government.

“In the end, it takes an open mind. We have a problem with our procedures. There is a mistrust in the government despite the Anti-Red Tape Law. The site is a good wake-up call for the government,” he said.

The “Elections: Cebu Advocates of Reforms and Education” (ECARE) web site features all about the elections. It provides information related to elections and it has a forum where concerned citizens can air their concerns about the elections.

The “Child Protection Online Legal Aid” web site features the laws, jurisprudence and issues pertaining to child protection.

It is an online legal aid blog that aims to answer questions about the law and to give legal advice to individuals who have concerns on children’s rights.

“Our goal is to inform the public about the different laws involving child protection and children’s rights. We want to answer and give solutions to problems on child protection. We must be pro-active as responsible adults and citizens. It is our duty to guide the young generation for a better future,” said Law student Rodelo Martin Damaolao.

“Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale is happy for UC-Banilad in partnering for a quest in providing a better hope for children.” Vice Governor Magpale’s Chief of Staff Basiliso Sungcad Jr. said.

He also emphasized the vice governor’s advocacy for women and children.

Sungcad said that the “Anti-Tabloid” ordinance was intended to protect the children who have access to tabloids.

“Tabloids are very accessible to high school students. Most tabloids have lewd photos.” he said. Rhea Ruth V. Rosell, Correspondent

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