The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has allowed the online voting for the new set of officers of its chapters nationwide due to the ongoing pandemic caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a memorandum dated Nov. 16 addressed to IBP chapter presidents and officers, IBP National President Domingo Cayosa said IBP Board of Governors has approved guidelines for the conduct of elections that will be held on the last Saturday of February 2021.
Cayosa said among the those approved is that “votes may be cast physically, or electronically by mail.”
Those elected will serve a two-year term from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2023.
“The online voting option will address the mobility limitations during the COVID-19,” the IBP president explained.
With this, Cayosa also instructed IBP chapters “to adopt the COVID-19 precautionary measures to ensure the widest possible participation of our members and safeguard the integrity of the votes as well as the election process.”
“As the IBP has consistently and successfully advocated for harnessing information technology to do more, better, faster in the justice sector and we now have online MCLE (Mandatory Continuing Legal Education), e-filing, remote notarization, online hearings, inquest processes, meetings, law classes, payment of IBP dues, processing of ID’s, and possibly bar examinations, it is incumbent upon us to use available technology to improve our electoral process. Let us all cooperate in raising the standards of the legal profession,” Cayosa stated.
“IBP National shall assist in addressing any concerns or need of the Chapters,” he assured.
The IBP was created by the Supreme Court (SC) on Oct. 5, 1970 when it was then called the Commission on Bar Integration.
It is the official organization of all Philippine lawyers whose names appear in the Roll of Attorneys of the SC.