A KAGAY-ANON lawyer is being recognized internationally after their team's work on addressing overcrowded jails in the country bagged an international award.
Lawyer Jeza Mae Sarah Sanchez, legal officer of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), said they received a silver award from the International Project Management Association (IPMA) for developing an electronic learning tool for the BJMP's paralegal officers.
The tool, called the Electronic Paralegal Learning Module (EPLM) will equip paralegal officers with basic knowledge of the applicable laws on decongestion of jails.
It is also a resource center where the paralegals can find templates of motions, pleadings, letters, to assist them in their work.
"Paralegals are not yet lawyers, you cannot expect them to know these things, then the BMP also has no resources to train them one by one because it's not part of our mandate. So basically the EPLM is a cost-effective capacity-building tool to enhance their knowledge and skills," Sanchez said, who is also the current legal officer of the BJMP-Northern Mindanao office.
Sanchez said the project is a team effort, citing their significant partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Since its implementation, the BJMP noted a 67 percent reduction of overcrowded jails across the country. From 612 percent in 2017, the national congestion rate as of September 2018 is now at 545 percent.
"In behalf of the country, the Bureau and the EPLM project team, I felt validated and proud. I remember one of the participants was amazed because most of the works presented there is focused on profits for their respective companies. But ours has a big impact to our society," she said.
"As what Secretary Eduardo Año told me, I was able to showcase the Filipino ingenuity to the world," she added.
Sanchez was born in Barangay Lumbia, Cagayan de Oro City and finished law here in Xavier University.
She is now based in Quezon City, serving as the legal officer and concurrent administrative officer of the BJMP national officer.