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Republic of the Philippines
Supreme Court



WHEREAS, this Court is vested with the power to promulgate rules concerning the Integrated Bar of the Philippines under Section 5 (5), Article VIII of the Constitution, and such power includes ensuring delivery by members of the law profession of quality service to the public and the courts through constant upgrading of their knowledge in law;

WHEREAS, in the Resolution of 22 August 2000 in Bar Matter No. 850, the Court adopted the Rules on Mandatory Continuing Legal Education for Members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (MCLE Rules) in order that throughout the career of lawyers in the country "they keep abreast with law and jurisprudence, maintain the ethics of the profession and enhance the standards of the practice of law," creating for that purpose the MCLE Committee;

WHEREAS, the MCLE Rules, as amended on 2 October 2001, has been implemented through the MCLE Committee with the assistance of twelve (12) personnel;

WHEREAS, since April 2001, the MCLE Committee, with the assistance of said personnel, has accredited seventy-nine (79) MCLE Providers, and approved the presentation of seven hundred thirty-five (735) activities/lectures/seminars which enabled attending lawyer-participants to earn credit units as required by the MCLE Rules;

WHEREAS, by the ever-increasing number and the frequency of such activities/lectures/seminars, the present personnel under the MCLE can hardly cope with the demands of their jobs in the implementation of the MCLE Program thereby requiring a larger and permanent organizational structure for that purpose;

WHEREAS, the above-stated constitutional mandate of this Court vests the character of permanency to the organizational structure that shall implement the MCLE Program;

WHEREAS, the Special Provision Applicable to the Judiciary of the General Appropriations Act for FY 2003 (Republic Act No. 9206) authorizes the Chief Justice "to formulate and implement the organizational structure of the Judiciary, to fix and determine the salaries, allowances and other benefits of their personnel, and whenever public interest so requires, make adjustments in personal services itemization including, but not limited to the transfer of item or creation of new positions in the Judiciary" consistent with the Constitution and the Court's fiscal autonomy.

NOW, THEREFORE -chanrobleslawnet

SECTION 1. Establishment.- This Court hereby establishes the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Office (MCLE Office) as a unit of this Court.

SECTION 2. Functions.- The MCLE Office shall carry out the objectives of mandatory continuing legal education as stated in Rule 1 of the MCLE Rules.

SECTION 3. Governing Board.- The MCLE Committee shall constitute the governing board.

SECTION 4. Officials.- The Officials of the MCLE Office shall be an Executive Officer and an Assistant Executive Officer, who shall be appointed by the Court in accordance with current practice and the Civil Service rules.chanrobleslawnet

The Executive Officer shall be a citizen of the Philippines, a member of good standing of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and with at least five (5) years experience in law practice and thirty-two (32) hours of relevant training in management and supervision. The Executive Officer shall enjoy the rank, salary and privileges of a Chief of Office of this Court, with Salary Grade 29.

The Assistant Executive Officer shall possess the same qualifications as the Executive Officer and shall have the same rank, salary and privileges of an Assistant Chief of Office of this Court, with Salary Grade 28.

SECTION 5. Duties and responsibilities of the Executive Officer and the Assistant Executive Officer.- The Executive Officer shall be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Office, including supervision of personnel thereof. The Executive Officer shall regularly consult with and report to the MCLE Committee regarding the implementation of the MCLE Program as provided for by the MCLE Rules.chanrobleslawnet

The Assistant Executive Officer shall assist the Executive Officer in the performance of the latter's duties and responsibilities and shall act in the event of absence or incapacity of said Executive Officer.chanrobleslawnet

SECTION 6. Organizational set-up of MCLE Office.- The MCLE Office shall have a staffing pattern that shall be approved by the court.

There shall be two Divisions in the MCLE Office, with the following functions:

(a) The Accreditation, Program Monitoring, Compliance and Evaluation Division shall be responsible for the implementation of Rules 8 to 9 and 11 to 14 of the MCLE Rules, and for such duties and functions as the MCLE Committee, through the Executive Officer, may impose upon it.

(b) The Administrative and Finance Division shall: (i) take charge of all matters affecting personnel, properties, and finances of the MCLE Office; (ii) be responsible for the collection and management of all fees prescribed by the MCLE Rules; (iii) prepare the annual budget proposals for the implementation of MCLE Rules and the operation of the MCLE Office and submit the same, through the Executive Officer, to the MCLE Committee for review and submission to the Court; and (iv) perform such tasks as the Executive Officer may deem fit and proper.chanrobleslawnet

SECTION 7. Chiefs of the two Divisions of the MCLE Office.- Each of the two Divisions shall be headed by a Chief of Division who shall hold a position equivalent to that of a Chief Judicial Staff Officer (SG 25). The Assistant Chief of Division shall hold a position equivalent to that of Supervising Judicial Staff Officer (SG 23). They shall be appointed by the Court as recommended by the Selection and Promotions Board and in accordance with Civil Service rules.chanrobleslawnet

SECTION 8. Consultants.- The MCLE Office may, with the prior authorization of the Chief Justice and in accordance with current practice, hire Consultants with expertise and experience in the conduct of activities/ lectures/seminars.chanrobleslawnet

SECTION 9. Funding.- The MCLE Office shall be funded initially from savings of the Court until such time as its budget shall have been incorporated in the general appropriations law.

SECTION 10. Effectivity.- This Administrative Order shall take effect on 1 September 2003 following its publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines not later than 15 August 2003.

5 August 2003.chanrobleslawnet
Davide, Jr. C.J., Bellosillo, Puno, Vitug, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago, Sandoval-Gutirrez, Carpio, Austria-Martinez, Corona, Carpio-Morales, Azcuna and Tinga, JJ. Callejo, Sr., J. on leave.