Daily Tribune (Philippines)

Rural universiti­es get a shot in the arm

We look forward to the transforma­tive work of these universiti­es in the year ahead. Women and girls are key agents of developmen­t and change

- BY GAB HUMILDE VILLEGAS

The European Union’s (EU) Governance in Justice Programme (GoJust) awarded six institutio­ns a total of P12.1 million (P215,000) on Tuesday to be utilized for clinical legal education programs that prioritize access to justice for women and girls.

The beneficiar­ies include West Visayas State University, Adamson University, University of San Carlos, University of the Visayas, Father Saturnino Urios University and St. Louis University.

The program aims to assist the Philippine government in its efforts to increase access to justice for all and contains a four-year grant mechanism of P3.1 million (P170 million) to help civil society organizati­ons and universiti­es/law schools in improving access to justice for disadvanta­ged groups, particular­ly women and girls.

EU Ambassador to the Philippine­s Luc Véron was present during the virtual grant signing ceremony.

“Gender equality is one of the European Union’s core values. Ensuring women and girls have equal access to justice is fundamenta­l to building a fair, inclusive, prosperous and peaceful society. The European Union has been a committed partner to the Philippine’s Justice Sector reform since 2006. Our engagement stems from the importance we attach to democracy, human rights and the rule of law,” Véron said.

“We look forward to the transforma­tive work of these universiti­es in the year ahead. Women and girls are key agents of developmen­t and change. Their interventi­ons will change lives for the better,” he added.

The six colleges will implement the Supreme Court’s Clinical Legal Education Program — a credit-earning teaching course designed to equip law students with knowledge to apply the law, provide legal services, and promote social justice, particular­ly in marginaliz­ed groups — to improve access to justice for women and other disadvanta­ged population­s.

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