BY-LAWS OF THE INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES ARTICLE I (Sections 1 to 17) GENERAL PROVISIONS
SECTION 1. Name. – The national organization of lawyers created on January 16, 1973 under Rule of Court 139-A (hereinafter designated as the Integration Rule) and constituted on May 4, 1973 into a body corporate by Presidential Decree No. 181 shall be known as the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
SEC.2. Objectives and Purposes. – The following are the general objectives of the Integrated Bar: to elevate the standards of the legal profession, improve the administration of justice, and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility more effectively. The purposes of the Integrated Bar include, without being limited to, those specified in the per curiam Resolution of the Supreme Court dated January 9, 1973 ordaining the integration of the Philippine Bar, to wit:
(1) Assist in the administration of justice;
(2) Foster and maintain on the part of its members high ideals of integrity, learning, professional competence, public service and conduct;
(3) Safeguard the professional interest of its members;
(4) Cultivate among its members a spirit of cordiality and brotherhood;
(5) Provide a forum for the discussion of law, jurisprudence, law reform, pleading, practice and procedure, and the relations of the Bar to the Bench and to the public, and publish information relating thereto;
(6) Encourage and foster legal education; and
(7) Promote a continuing program of legal research in substantive and adjective law, and make reports and recommendations thereon.
SEC.3. Powers, prerogatives, functions, duties, and responsibilities. – The powers, prerogatives, functions, duties and responsibilities of the Integrated Bar, its Chapters and other agencies, its officers and committees, national and local, its commissions, and its members, are as provided by law, the Integration Rule, Presidential Decree No. 181, these By-Laws, and pertinent rules and regulations.
Inter alia, the Integrated Bar shall have perpetual succession and shall have all legal powers appertaining to a juridical person, particularly the power to sue and be sued; to contract and to be contracted with; to hold real and personal property as may be necessary for corporate purposes; to mortgage, lease, sell, transfer, convey and otherwise dispose of the same; to solicit and receive public and private donations and contributions; to accept and receive real and personal property by gift, devise or bequest; to levy and collect membership dues and special assessments from its members; to adopt a seal and to alter the same at pleasure; to have offices and conduct its affairs in the Greater Manila Area and elsewhere; to make and adopt by-laws, rules and regulations not inconsistent with the laws of the Philippines or the Rules of Court, particularly the Integration Rule; and generally to do all such acts and things as may be necessary or proper to carry into effect and promote the objectives and purposes for which it was organized.
All donations or contributions which may be made by private entities or persons to the Integrated Bar shall be exempt from income and gifts taxes, and the same shall further be deductible in full and shall not be included for purposes of computing the maximum amount deductible under Section 30, paragraph (h), of the National Internal Revenue Code, as amended.
All taxes, charges and fees that may be paid by the Integrated Bar or any of its Chapters to the Government or any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof shall be refundable annually to the former for the period extending up to December 31, 1978.
SEC. 4. Non-political Bar. – The Integrated Bar is strictly non-political, and every activity tending to impair this basic feature is strictly prohibited and shall be penalized accordingly. No lawyer holding an elective, judicial, quasi-judicial, or prosecutory office in the Government or any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof shall be eligible for election or appointment to any position in the Integrated Bar or any Chapter thereof. A Delegate, Governor, officer or employee of the Integrated Bar, or an officer or employee of any Chapter thereof shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his position as of the moment he files his certificate of candidacy for any elective public office or accepts appointment to any judicial, quasi-judicial, or prosecutory office in the Government or any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof.
SEC. 5. Positions honorary. – Except as may be specifically authorized or allowed by the Supreme Court, no national or local officer, or committee or commission member shall receive any compensation, allowance or emolument from the funds of the Integrated Bar for any service rendered therein, or be entitled to reimbursement for any expense incurred in the discharge of his functions.
SEC. 6. National office. – The national office of the Integrated Bar shall be in the Greater Manila Area.
SEC. 7. Seal and emblem. – The seal and the emblem of the Integrated Bar, as adopted by the Board of Governors, shall be kept at its national office.
SEC. 8. Notices and processes. – Service of all notices and processes intended for the Integrated of the Philippines shall be made upon its Secretary or other authorized representative at its national office.
Except as otherwise provided in these By-Laws, any notice to be served upon a member of the Integrated Bar shall be deemed given when deposited in the mail, postage fully prepaid, and addressed to such member at his last known office or resident address appearing in the records or membership roll of the national office or the Chapter concerned.
Notice to the general membership may be given by mail, by publication in the Journal of the Integrated Bar or as otherwise directed by the Board of Governors.
SEC. 9. Officer defined. – The term “officer” as used in these By-Laws shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following: President, Executive Vice President, Governors, Secretary, Treasurer and other national officers of the Integrated Bar, officers and members of the House of Delegates, Chapter officers and directors, commissioners, and members of all national and local committees.
Only members in good standing may become officers, and unless otherwise provided in these By-Laws, no person who is not a member of the Integrated Bar may become an officer.
SEC. 10. Term of office. – The term of office of all elective officers, national and local, shall be two years. In no case may any member be elected to the same office for two consecutive terms.
The prohibition against re-election shall not apply to the position of Treasurer of the Chapter. (As amended pursuant to Bar Matter No. 668)
SEC. 11. Vacancies. – Except as otherwise provided in these By-Laws, whenever the term of an office or position, whether elective or appointive, is for a fixed period, the person chosen to fill the vacancy therein shall serve only for the unexpired portion of the term.
SEC. 12. Non-answerability of the Integrated Bar. – In the absence of a showing of malice, fraud, bad faith or negligence, the Integrated Bar, its national officers and Governors, the officers and members of the House of Delegates, all of the Chapters and the officers thereof, commissioners, and all committees national and local, and the members thereof, shall not be answerable for any damage incident to any complaint, charge, investigation, prosecution, proceeding, trial, decision, resolution, recommendation, or action had, made, done or taken under the authority of these By-Laws.
SEC. 13. Malfeasance, misfeasance, nonfeasance. – Notwithstanding the provisions of the next preceding section, the Board of Governors may motu proprio or upon the relation of any person, inquire into any malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance committed by any member of the Integrated Bar or of any of its Chapters, and, after due hearing, take whatever action it may deem warranted. Such action may include his suspension or removal from any office of the Integrated Bar or of its Chapters held by such erring member, as well as recommendation to the Supreme Court for his suspension from the practice of law or disbarment.
The IBP Chapter shall remit to the National Office the membership dues, net of chapter share, and the applicable building fund assessment collected by it within forty-five (45) days from receipt thereof, otherwise, the President and the Treasurer shall be subject to administrative sanction as may be determined by the Board of Governors. (As amended pursuant to Bar Matter No. 668)
SEC. 14. Prohibited acts and practices relative to elections. – The following acts and practices relative to the elections are prohibited, whether committed by a candidate for any elective office in the Integrated Bar or by any other member, directly or indirectly, in any form or manner, by himself or through another person:
(a) Distribution, except on election day, of election campaign material;
(b) Distribution, on election day, of election material other than a statement of the biodata of a candidate on not more than one page of a legal size sheet of paper; or causing distribution of such statement to be done by persons other than those authorized by the officer presiding at the elections;
(c) Campaigning for or against any candidate, while holding an elective, judicial, quasi-judicial, or prosecutory office in the Government or any political subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof;
(d) Formation of tickets, single slates, or combinations of candidates, as well as the advertisement thereof;
(e) For the purpose of inducing or influencing a member to withhold his vote, or to vote for or against a candidate, (1) payment of the dues or other indebtedness of any member; (2) giving of food, drink, entertainment, transportation or any article of value, or any similar consideration to any to any person; or (3) making a promise or causing an expenditure to be made, offered or promised to any person.
SEC.15. Supreme Court observer. – The Supreme Court may designate an official observer at any election of the Integrated Bar whether national or local.
SEC. 16. Voluntary Bar associations. – All voluntary Bar associations now existing or which may hereafter be formed may co-exist with the Integrated Bar but shall not operate at cross-purposes therewith nor against any policy, act, resolution or decision thereof.
SEC. 17. Rules of Court suppletory. – Whenever applicable, the Rules of Court shall be suppletory to these By-Laws.
ARTICLE II (Sections 18 to 22) MEMBERSHIP
SEC. 18. Membership. – The following persons are, automatically and without exception, members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines:
(a) All lawyers whose names were in the Roll of Attorneys of the Supreme Court on January 16, 1973; and
(b) All lawyers whose names were included or are entered therein after the said date.
SEC.19. Registration. – Unless he has already previously registered, every member heretofore admitted to the practice of law shall, not later than December 31, 1974, register in the Integrated Bar as hereunder required, at the national office or at the office of his Chapter.
Every person admitted to the practice of law after these By-Laws become effective shall register in like manner not later than sixty days after such admission.
Registration shall be accomplished by signing and filing in duplicate the prescribed registration form containing such information as may be required by the Board of Governors, including the following:
(a) Full name, sex and civil status;
(b) Month, date, year and place of birth;
(c) Office address(es);
(d) Residence address(es);
(e) Occupation(s) or employment;
(f) Name of law school and year of graduation;
(g) Year of admission to the Bar; and
(h) Field(s) of specialization in law, if any.
It shall be the duty of the Secretary of every Chapter to promptly forward a copy of each accomplished registration form to the national office.
Every change after registration in respect to any of the matters above specified shall be reported within sixty (60) days to the chapter Secretary, who shall in turn promptly report the change to the national office.
Unless he otherwise registers his preference for a particular Chapter, a lawyer shall be considered a member of the Chapter of the province, city, political subdivision or area where his office or, in the absence thereof, his residence is located. In no case shall any lawyer be a member of more than one Chapter.
SEC.20. Members in good standing. – Every member who has paid all membership dues and all authorized special assessments, plus surcharges owing thereon, and who is not under suspension from the practice of law or from membership privileges, is a member in good standing.
SEC.21. Voluntary termination of membership; reinstatement. – A member may terminate his membership by filing a verified notice to that effect with the Secretary of the Integrated Bar, who shall immediately bring the matter to the attention of the Supreme Court. Forthwith, he shall cease to be a member and his name shall be stricken from the Roll of Attorneys.
Reinstatement may be made in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the Board of Governors and approved by the Court, provided any written application for reinstatement must be filed with the Board, which shall, within fifteen (15) days from receipt, forward the same to the Court with its appropriate recommendation.
SEC.22. Retirement, reinstatement. – Any member in good standing who shall have attained the age of seventy-five years, or shall have been forty years a lawyer, or who shall, by reason of physical disability or judicially adjudged mental incapacity, be unable to engage in the practice of law, may be retired from the Integrated Bar upon verified petition to the Board of Governors. Retired members shall not practice law or be required to pay dues.
A retired member may be reinstated to active membership upon written application to and approval by the Board.
The Board shall make periodic reports of retirement and reinstatement of members to the Supreme Court.
ARTICLE III (Sections 23 to 25) DUES
SEC.23. Membership dues. – On or before the 31st day of December, every member of the Integrated Bar shall pay annual dues for the ensuing fiscal year in the amount of FIVE HUNDRED PESOS at the National Office or at the office of his Chapter, to take effect on January 1, 1995. (As amended pursuant to Bar Matter No. 668)
Membership dues shall be apportioned as follows: Chapter share, Php200.00; General Fund, Php150.00; Welfare Fund Php40.00; Legal Aid Php20.00; Bar Discipline, Php20.00; and IBP Journal Php70.00. (As amended pursuant to Bar Matter No. 668)
Subject to approval by the Supreme Court, the Board of Governors may increase the annual membership dues, or modify the apportionment thereof. (As amended on January 30, 1992)
Pursuant to Bar Matter No. 616, the Supreme Court approved the proposal to increase the membership dues from Php500.00 to Php1,000.00 starting the year 2000 of which 60 per cent shall be alloted for the National Office while 40 per cent shall go to the chapters. (Supreme Court Resolution dated February 1, 2000)
THE IBP LIFE MEMBERSHIP PLAN
(Pursuant to Supreme Court Resolution dated August 20, 1996, the life membership fee was increased to Php8,500.00 effective January 1, 1997.)
A member of the IBP may apply for life membership therein by filing an application there for directly with the national office or through the appropriate chapter under the following terms:
(1) That the member shall be in good standing as provided for under Section 20, Article II of these By-Laws at the time he files his application for life membership;
(2) That he pays to the national office his life membership fee in the sum of FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (Php5,000.00) and
(3) That he abides by the rules and regulations promulgated by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines implementing the life membership plan.
Upon payment of the life membership fee of FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (Php5,000.00), the member shall be enrolled in the Roll of Life Members to be prepared by and kept in the Office of the Treasurer of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. He shall be issued a certificate of life membership to be signed by the national president and attested by the National Secretary.
The life membership fee of FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (Php5,000.00) shall be deposited in a reputable banking institution chosen by the Board of Governors, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, as a perpetual trust fund which shall earn interest at the best possible rate per annum.
Only the annual income of the life membership trust fund shall be available for expenditure of the IBP and shall be applied as follows:
(1) To the payment of the life member’s annual dues as provided in Section 23, Article III of these By-Laws;
(2) Fifty percent of the balance of the income, if any, shall be automatically appropriated for the operational expenses of the Committee on Bar Discipline, including the salaries of the national investigators or commissioners and the staff of the Committee;
(3) The other fifty percent of the balance, if any, shall be deposited as part of the life membership trust fund.
Any life member, whose membership in the IBP terminates by retirement or for any other cause, shall cease to be a life member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. (As amended pursuant to Supreme Court Resolution dated October 27, 1992)
All lawyers shall indicate in all pleadings, motions and papers signed and filed by them in any court in the Philippines – and in the case of government lawyers, in all official documents issued by them – the number and date of their official receipt indicating payment of their annual membership dues to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for the current year, or in the case of life members, their life membership roll number. (As amended pursuant to Bar Matter No. 668)
SEC.24. Effect of non-payment of dues. – Except for the fiscal year 1974-1975, any member who has not paid his membership dues for any given fiscal year on or before the last day (June 30) of the immediately preceding fiscal year shall be considered a dues – delinquent member. For the fiscal year 1974-1975 any member who has not paid the annual dues on or before November 30, 1974 shall be considered dues delinquent. If the delinquency continues until the following December 31, the Board of Governors shall by Resolution forthwith suspend all his membership privileges other than the practice of law. A copy of such resolution shall be sent by registered mail to the member and to the secretary of the chapter concerned. The Board shall promptly inquire into the cause or causes of the delinquency and take whatever action it shall deem appropriate, including a recommendation to the Supreme Court for the suspension of the delinquent member from the practice of law.
Should the delinquency further continue until the following June 29, the Board shall promptly inquire into the cause or causes of the continued delinquency and take whatever action it shall deem appropriate, including a recommendation to the Supreme Court for the removal of the delinquent member’s name from the Roll of Attorneys. Notice of the action taken shall be sent by registered mail to the member and to the Secretary of the Chapter concerned.
Whenever a delinquent member makes full payment of the membership dues owing, plus a sum equivalent to 10 percent thereof, such fact shall without delay be reported to the Board, which shall take such action as may be warranted.
A member whose name is removed from the Roll of Attorneys pursuant to the provision of this Section may apply for reinstatement under the provisions of the second paragraph of Section 21 (Voluntary termination of membership; reinstatement)
SEC.25. Remission or lifting of sanctions. – The Board of Governors may, for justifiable reasons, remit or lift sanctions already imposed, and authorize the retroactive reinstatement of the member concerned. However, sanctions imposed or approved by the Supreme Court may be remitted or lifted only by the Court.
ARTICLE IV (Sections 26 to 29) CHAPTERS
SEC.26. Chapters. – A Chapter of the Integrated Bar shall be organized in every province existing on the date of the effectivity of the Integration Rule. Except as hereinbelow provided, every city shall be considered part of the province within which it was geographically situated prior to its creation as a city.
A separate chapter shall be organized in each of the following political subdivisions or areas:
(a) The sub-province of Aurora;
(b) Each congressional district of the City of Manila existing on the date of the effectivity of the Integration Rule;
(c) Quezon City;
(d) Caloocan City, Malabon and Navotas;
(e) Pasay City, Makati, Mandaluyong and San Juan del Monte;
(f) Cebu City; and
(g) Zamboanga City, Basilan City, and Basilan Province.
The Board of Governors shall reorganize the various Chapters of cities and provinces, by division or merger, to the end that, as far as practicable, no chapter shall have more than one thousand nor less than five hundred members, beginning with the fiscal year 1977-1978.
The Board shall study the feasibility of organizing Chapters in new provinces.
SEC.27. Coordination of Chapter activities. – The Board shall coordinate and supervise the activities of all the Chapters for purposes of promoting maximum lawyer participation in Integrated Bar affairs, and effective administration and operation of the organization.
SEC.28. Chapter local government. – Each Chapter shall have its own government.
SEC.29. Uniform by-laws. – Every Chapter shall strictly observe the following by-laws, but the Board of Officers of any Chapter may submit for consideration and action by the Board of Governors such additional provisions as may be demanded by local conditions.
INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES CHAPTER BY-LAWS
SECTION 1. Objectives and Purposes. – The fundamental objective of the Chapter shall be to administer the affairs of the Integrated Bar within its territorial jurisdiction, under the general direction and supervision of the Board of Governors, with the end in view of elevating the standards of the legal profession, improving the administration of justice, enabling the Bar to discharge its public responsibility more effectively, and carrying out the purposes specified in the per curiam Resolution of the Supreme Court dated January 9, 1973 ordaining the integration in Section 2 (objectives and purposes) of the By-Laws of the Integrated Bar.
SEC. 2. Membership. – The Chapter comprises all members registered in its membership roll. Each member shall maintain his membership until the same is terminated on any of the grounds set forth in the By-Laws of the Integrated Bar, or he transfers his membership to another chapter as certified by the Secretary of the latter, provided that the transfer is made not less than three months immediately preceding any Chapter election.
SEC. 3. Membership dues and special assessments. – Every member of the Integrated Bar registered in the chapter shall pay annual membership dues as prescribed by the By-Laws of the Integrated Bar or by the Board of Governors, subject to the sanctions that maybe imposed in case of delinquency. Special assessments for specific purposes as may be required may be imposed, and non-payment thereof shall be subject to the same sanctions provided for non-payment of dues; Provided, that the total amount for special assessments in any given fiscal year shall not exceed the amount of the annual dues. If a special assessment does not exceed Php25.00, the same may be made effective immediately. If in excess of Php25.00, a special assessment shall not become effective until approved by the written vote of the majority of all the members. Special assessments shall remain effective unless revoked or amended by the majority of all the members at a special meeting called for the purpose in accordance with Section 4 (Chapter meetings) hereof.
SEC. 4. Chapter meetings. – The Chapter annual meeting shall be held on the last Saturday of February at such time and place as the Board of Officers shall designate. Special meetings may be called by the President, and shall be called upon the written request of five members of the Board of Officers or of at least thirty percent of the entire membership. Written notice of any meeting shall be mailed by the Secretary to each member, at his last known address, at least 30 days prior to the meeting. The Board of Officers shall take such measures as may be necessary to ensure the attendance of all members at all meetings.
At any annual or special meeting, the members present shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
SEC. 5. Board of Officers. – The government of the Chapter is vested in a Board of Officers composed of a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, an Auditor, a Public Relations Officer and five Directors, who shall be elected at the biennial meeting and shall hold office for a term of two years from the first day of April next following their election and until their successors shall have been duly chosen and qualified. (As amended pursuant to Bar Matter No. 668)
In addition to the elected officers, the immediate Past-President shall ipso facto become an ex-officio (non-voting) member of the Board of Directors. As amended pursuant to Bar Matter No. 1049) The President and Vice President shall be chairman and vice chairman, respectively.
In case of any permanent vacancy in the Board of Officers, except that of President which shall be filled by the Vice President, the Board shall elect a successor to serve for the unexpired portion of the term. In case of a temporary vacancy that affects the quorum of the Board, the remaining members of the Board shall elect a temporary replacement. Any member of the Board may be removed for cause, including three consecutive absences from Board meetings without justifiable excuse, upon resolution adopted by the majority of the remaining members of the Board at a regular meeting. Within ten days from receipt of the resolution, the aggrieved party may appeal to the Board of Governors, whose decision shall be final.
SEC. 6. Meeting of the Board of Officers. – Regular monthly meetings shall be held by the Board of Officers on such date and at such time and place as it shall designate. Special meetings may be called by the President, and shall be called upon the written request of five members of the Board. Five members of the Board shall constitute a quorum.
SEC. 7. Duties of officers.
(a) President. – The President shall be the chief executive of the Chapter. He shall preside at all Chapter meetings and at all meetings of the Board of Officers.
(b) Vice President. – The Vice President shall perform the duties of the President during the absence or inability of the latter to act, and such other duties as may be assigned to him by the President and the Board.
(c) Secretary. – The Secretary shall attend all meetings of the Board of Officers and keep a record of all the proceedings thereof; prepare and maintain a membership roll of the Chapter and keep all the records thereof; prepare official ballots for all election; and perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by the President and the Board.
(d) Treasurer. – The Treasurer shall receive, collect and safely keep, under the direction of the Board of Governors and the Board of Officers, all funds of the Chapter; promptly remit to the national office the latter’s share of the dues and assessments under Section 23 (Membership Dues) of the By-Laws of the Integrated Bar; keep proper books of accounts and render reports of receipts and disbursements as may be required; and perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by the President and the Board. He shall furnish a bond at the expense of the Chapter, in such amount as may be required by the Board of Governors.
All disbursements shall be made over the signature of the Treasurer, countersigned by the President or, in his absence, by the Vice President.
SEC. 8. Delegates. – The President shall concurrently be the Delegate of the Chapter to the House of Delegates. The Vice President shall be his alternate, unless the chapter is entitled to have more than one Delegate, in which case the Vice President shall also be a Delegate. Additional Delegates and alternates shall in proper cases be elected by the Board.
SEC. 9. Annual budget. – The Board shall adopt an annual budget. No disbursement shall be made except in accordance therewith.
SEC. 10. Audit. – Audit of all Chapter funds, accounts, receipts and disbursements shall be in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the Board of Governors.
SEC. 11. Committees. – The President shall, with the concurrence of the majority of the Board of Officers, appoint the following standing committees: a committee on legal aid and committee on legislation. The Board may create such other committees as may be necessary.
The members of all committees shall serve for a term of one year, and until their respective successors shall have been duly appointed and qualified. It shall be the duty of the committee on legal aid to establish legal aid bureaus for deserving poor litigants and set up lawyer referral services. It shall be the duty of the committee on legislation to consider and propose any legislation relating to substantive and remedial law.
SEC. 12. Rules governing elections. – The following rules shall govern elections:
(a) Date and place of elections. – Elections of Officers and Directors shall be held on the last Saturday of February every other year at such time and place as the Board shall designate, which shall be stated in the notice to be sent to every member by personal delivery or by mail not less than thirty days prior to the elections.
(b) Responsibility for the elections. – The preparation of all election paraphernalia, the setting up of registration and canvassing committees, and all other matters relating to the elections, shall be the responsibility and shall be under the supervision and control of the President.
(c) Voters’ list. – Not earlier that twenty-five days nor later that fifteen days prior to the elections, the Secretary shall submit to the Board of Officers a list of the names of all the members entitled to vote. The voters’ list shall then remain closed and shall not be altered except upon direction of the Board. However, it shall be open to inspection by all members, and, upon request, copies thereof shall be furnished to any member upon payment of actual cost.
Any member who is delinquent in the payment of dues or any assessment, including surcharges owing, twenty-five days prior to the day of the elections, shall be excluded from the voters’ list.
(d) Violation. - Any violation of the rules governing elections or commission of any of the prohibited acts and practices defined in Section 14 (Prohibited acts and practices relative to elections) of the By-Laws of the Integrated Bar shall be a ground for the disqualification of a candidate or his removal from office if elected, without prejudice to the imposition of sanctions upon any erring member pursuant to the By-Laws of the Integrated Bar.
(e) Election campaign material. – No election campaign material other than a statement of the biodata of the candidate or aspirant on not more than one page of a legal size sheet of paper shall be allowed, and distribution thereof shall be made only on the day of elections and only by persons authorized by the officer presiding at the elections.
(f) Eligibility. – No member may be elected to any office whose name is not duly included in the voters’ list, or who is disqualified by the Integration Rule, by the By-Laws of the Integrated Bar, or by these by-laws.
(g) Nomination of candidates. - Any eligible member may, upon his written consent, be nominated to any office: Provided, that no member may be a candidate for more than one office. Every nomination shall be made orally by a member other than the nominee and shall be limited to a statement of the full name of the nominee. No member who is not personally present at the election meeting may be nominated. No nomination other than on the floor shall be allowed. In no case shall any nomination or campaign speech be permitted.
(h) Disqualification proceedings. – Any question relating to the eligibility of a candidate must be raised prior to the casting of ballots, and shall be immediately decided by the presiding officer. An appeal from such decision maybe taken to the members in attendance who shall forthwith resolve the appeal by plurality vote. Voting shall be by raising of hands. The decision of the members shall be final, and the elections shall thereafter proceed. Recourse to the Board of Governors may be had in accordance with Section 13 (Election contest) hereof.
(i) Voting. - Voting for Officers and Directors shall be by secret ballot. Official ballots shall be provided for the purpose. Voting by proxy shall not be allowed.
(j) Canvassing of ballots. – The presiding officer shall organize as many committees as are they necessary composed of three non-candidates each, which shall canvass all votes cast in the elections immediately after the last ballot shall have been cast. Canvassing, when started, shall be continuous until finished and shall be within the view and observation of as many members as possible. In the reading of the ballots, the rules embodied in the general election law shall be followed. The chairman and members of each committee shall certify to the correctness of the tally made by them.
(k) Certification of election results. – Elections shall be determined by plurality vote. Any tie vote shall be broken by drawing of lots. The presiding officer, immediately after all the votes have been canvassed and tallied and the results announced by him, shall transmit the results of the elections to the President of the Integrated Bar by the fastest means of communication, to be followed by a confirmatory certificate of the said results bearing the names of all elected officers, their respective addresses and the respective offices to which they were elected, together with all the ballots and tally sheets in a separate sealed envelope or envelopes.
SEC. 13. Election contests. – Any member desiring to contest an election shall, within three days after election day, file with the Board of Governors a written protest setting forth the grounds therefor. The decision of the Board thereon shall be final.
SEC. 14. Rules and regulations. – The Chapter may adopt such rules and regulations as it shall see fit, including a minimum attorney’s fees schedule, not inconsistent with these by-laws, the By-Laws of the Integrated Bar, and the Integration Rule.
All rules and regulations shall be binding upon all members of the Integrated Bar who render legal services of any kind within the territorial boundaries of the Chapter.
SEC. 15. Minimum attorney’s fees schedule. – Any minimum attorney’s fees schedule adopted shall not be construed as fixing the maximum fee or the reasonable fee to be charged in any given case or situation. Any fees schedule and all amendments thereto shall become effective immediately, but maybe modified or disapproved by the Board of Governors, and shall be filed with the Secretary of the Integrated Bar. The Secretary of the Chapter shall send copies of fees schedules and all amendments thereto to the Secretaries of all other Chapters and the Board of Governors.
SEC. 16 Claims. – Expenses incurred with the approval of the Board of Officers by committees in the performance of official duties shall be proper claims for reimbursement, subject to approval by the Board of Governors and to the provision of Section 14 of the Integration Rule and Section 5 (Positions honorary) of the By-Laws of the Integrated Bar, and to the availability of funds. All claims accompanied by the receipts accomplished in accordance with requirements prescribed by the Board of Governors shall be submitted to the Board of Officers for proper action.
Sec 17. Amendments. – These by-laws may be amended by the Board of Governors with the approval of the Supreme Court. The rules and regulations which may be adopted by the Chapter under the authority of Section 29 (Uniform by-laws) of the By-Laws of the Integrated Bar may be amended by the vote of two-thirds of the members present at a meeting called for the purpose, subject to the approval of the Board of Governors.
ARTICLE V (Sections 30 to 36) HOUSE OF DELEGATES
SEC. 30. Composition of the House. – The Integrated Bar shall have a House of Delegates composed of not more than one hundred and twenty members apportioned among all the Chapters. On or before December 31, 1974, and every two years thereafter, the Board of Governors shall make a reapportionment of Delegates among all the Chapters as nearly as may be according to the number of their respective members, but each Chapter shall have at least one Delegate.
SEC. 31. Membership. – The membership of the House of shall consist of all the Chapter Presidents of the Chapters entitled to more than one Delegate each, the Vice Presidents of the Chapters and such additional Delegates as the Chapters are entitled to. Unless the Vice President is already a Delegate, he shall be an alternate Delegate. Additional Delegates and alternates shall in proper cases be elected by the Board of Officers of the Chapter. Members of the Board of Governors who are not Delegates shall be members ex officio of the House, without the right to vote.
SEC. 32. Term of office. – The term of office of additional and alternate Delegates shall be coterminous with that of Chapter Delegates.
SEC. 33. Annual Convention. – (a) Unless for special reasons another date is set by the Board of Governors, the House shall hold an annual convention during the moth of April of each year, at the call of the Board, at such time and place as the Board shall determine. Each Region shall be entitled to host one annual or special convention every nine years.
The convention program shall be prepared by the Board. No convention of the House of Delegates nor of the general membership shall be held prior to any election in an election year. (As amended pursuant to Bar Matter 491)
(b) The President and Executive Vice President of the IBP shall be the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, respectively, of the House of Delegates.The Secretary, Treasurer, and Sergeant-at-Arms shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the House of Delegates. (As amended pursuant to Bar Matter 491)
(c) At or prior to the annual convention, there shall be published an address by the President on the state of the Integrated Bar, a report of the proceedings, reports of officers and committees, and recommendations submitted in connection with these reports.
(d) Any matter not included in the published convention program may considered, debated or acted upon by the House, upon written petition signed by at least twenty Delegates.
(e) During the deliberations, no persons shall speak for more than five minutes or more than twice on the same matter, unless otherwise authorized by the Chairman.
(f) The House shall be a deliberative body of the Integrated Bar, and its resolutions shall bind the Integrated Bar when concurred in by the Board of Governors.
(g) At all deliberations of the House, whether in annual or special convention, the Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern.
SEC. 34. Special convention. – Special conventions of the House may be called by the Board of Governors motu proprio, or upon written petition therefor filed with the Secretary of the Integrated Bar signed by not less than thirty Delegates. The Board shall set the date, time and place for each special convention. Notice shall be given to all Delegates at least thirty days before the convention, stating the purpose and the urgency thereof as well as the business to be transacted thereat.
SEC. 35. Quorum. – The Delegates present at any session of a convention shall constitute a quorum to do business.
SEC. 36. Duties of Delegates. – The Delegates shall attend every convention of the House, promote the work of the convention, and make reports of the proceedings thereof to their respective Chapters.
ARTICLE VI (Sections 37 to 46) BOARD OF GOVERNORS
SEC. 37. Composition of the Board. – The Integrated Bar of the Philippines shall be governed by a Board of Governors consisting of nine (9) Governors from the (9) regions as delineated in Section 3 of the Integration Rule, on the representation basis of one (1) Governor for each region to be elected by the members of the House of Delegates from the region only. The position of Governor should be rotated among the different Chapters in the Region. (As amended pursuant to Bar Matter 491)
SEC. 38. Term of office. – The Governors shall hold office for a term of two years from July 1 immediately following their election to June 30 of their second year in office and until their successors shall have been duly chosen and qualified.
SEC. 39. Nomination and election of the Governors. – At least one (1) month before the national convention the delegates from each region shall elect the governor for their region, the choice of which shall as much as possible be rotated among the chapters in the region. (As amended pursuant to Bar Matter 491)
SEC. 40. Election contests. – Any nominee desiring to contest an election shall, within two days after the announcement of the results of the elections, file with the President of the Integrated Bar a written protest setting forth the grounds therefor. Upon receipt of such petition, the President shall forthwith call a special meeting of the outgoing Board of Governors to consider and hear the protest, with due notice to the contending parties. The decision of the Board shall be announced not later than the following May 31, and shall be final and conclusive.
SEC. 41. Functions of the Board. – The Board of Governors shall have general charge of the affairs and activities of the Integrated Bar. It shall have authority, inter alia, to:
(a) Fix the date, time and place of every convention of the House of Delegates, subject to the provisions of Section 33 (Annual convention) and 34 (Special conventions);
(b) Make appropriations and authorize disbursements from the funds of the Integrated Bar, subject to the provisions of Sections 14 of the Integration Rule and Section 5 (Positions honorary) of these By-Laws;
(c) Engage the services of employees, define their duties and fix their compensation;
(d) Receive, consider and act on reports and recommendations submitted by the House of Delegates or its committees;
(e) Provide for the publication of the Journal of the Integrated bar;
(f) Administer the Welfare Fund in accordance with such rules and regulations as it may promulgate;
(g) Fill vacancies, however arising, in the positions of officers of the Integrated Bar, subject to the provisions of Sec. 8 of the Integration Rule, and Section 11 (Vacancies), Section 44 (Removal of members), Section 47 (National officers), Section 48 (Other officers), and Section 49 (Terms of Office) of these By-Laws;
(h) Subject to the approval of the Supreme Court, promulgate Canons of Professional Responsibility for all members of the Integrated Bar;
(i) Promulgate rules and regulations for the establishment and maintenance of lawyer referral services throughout the Philippines;
(j) Subject to the approval of the Supreme Court, impose special assessments for specific national purposes, and impose, or recommend in proper cases to the Court the imposition of, sanctions for non-payment or delinquency in the payment thereof;
(k) Prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary and proper to carry out the objectives and purposes of the Integrated Bar as well as the provisions of the Integration Rule and Presidential Decree No. 181; and
(i) Perform such other functions as may be necessary or expedient in the interest of the Integrated Bar.
SEC. 42. Meetings. - The Board shall meet regularly once a month, on such date and such time and place as it shall designate. Special meetings may be called by the President, and shall be called by him upon the written request of five members of the Board.
SEC. 43. Quorom. - Five members of the Board shall constitute a quorum to transact business. However, the Board may take action, without a meeting, by resolution signed by at least five governors, provided that every member of the Board shall have been previously apprised of the contents of the resolution.
SEC. 44. Removal of members. - If the Board of Governors should determine after proper inquiry that any of its members, elective or otherwise, has for any reason become unable to perform his duties, the Board, by resolution of the Majority of the remaining members, may declare his position vacant, subject to the approval of the Supreme Court.
Any member of the Board, elective or otherwise, may be removed for cause, including three consecutive absences from Board meetings without justifiable excuse, by resolution adopted by two-thirds of the remaining members of the Board, subject to the approval of the Supreme Court. In case of any vacancy in the office of Governor for whatever cause, the delegates from the region shall by majority vote, elect a successor from among the members of the Chapter to which the resigned governor is a member to serve as governor for the unexpired portion of the term. (As amended pursuant to Supreme Court Resolution dated March 2, 1993)
SEC. 45. Executive Committee. - There shall be an Executive Committee of not less than three Governors, the powers, functions, duties and responsibilities of which shall be as prescribed by the Board. The President shall be the chairman thereof.
SEC. 46. Urgent matters. - Should the Executive Committee consider it desirable and imperative that any matter be decided urgently by the Board, and it is not practicable or expedient for the Board to convene, the Executive Committee may, for the purpose, direct a poll of all the members of the Board on that matter, to be taken by correspondence, telegram, radiogram, cablegram, or any other expeditious means, and the effect of such a poll shall be the same as if the votes therein were cast at a regular meeting of the Board.
ARTICLE VII (Sections 47 to 51) NATIONAL OFFICERS
SEC. 47. National Officers. - The Integrated Bar of the Philippines shall have a President and Executive Vice President to be chosen by the Board of Governors from among nine (9) regional governors, as much as practicable, on a rotation basis. The governors shall be ex officio Vice President for their respective regions. There shall also be a Secretary and Treasurer of the Board of Governors to be appointed by the President with the consent of the Board. (As amended pursuant to Bar Matter 491)
The Executive Vice President shall automatically become President for the next succeeding term. The Presidency shall rotate among the nine Regions.
SEC. 48. Other officers. - Other officers and employees as the Board may require shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Board. Such officers and employees need not be members of the Integrated Bar.
SEC. 49. Terms of office. - The President and the Executive Vice President shall hold office for a term of two years from July 1 following their election until June 30 of their second year in office and until their successors shall have been duly chosen and qualified.
In the event the President is absent or unable to act, his functions and duties shall be performed by the Executive Vice President, and in the event of the death, resignation, or removal of the President, the Executive Vice President shall serve as Acting President for the unexpired portion of the term. In the event of the death, resignation, removal or disability of both the President and the Executive Vice President, the Board of Governors shall elect an Acting President to hold office for the unexpired portion of the term or during the period of disability. Unless otherwise provided in these By-Laws, all other officers and employees appointed by the President with the consent of the Board shall hold office at the pleasure of the Board or for such term as the Board may fix.
SEC. 50. Duties of officers. - (a) President: The President shall be the chief executive of the Integrated Bar, and shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Governors.
From assumption of office and for the duration of his term, the President shall dissociate himself from any and all activities that may, in one way or another, restrict or hamper the effective exercise of his powers and performance of his functions and duties.
(b) Executive Vice President: The Executive Vice President shall exercise the powers and perform the functions and duties of the President during the absence or inabilility of the latter to act, and shall perform such other functions and duties as are assigned to him by the President and the Board of Governors.
(c) Governors: In addition to his duties as a member of the Board of Governors, each elective Governor shall act as representative of his Region in the Board. He shall promote, coordinate and correlate activities of the Chapters within his Region.
(d) Secretary: The Secretary shall attend all meetings of the Board of Governors, and keep a record of all the proceedings thereof; prepare and maintain a register of all members of the Integrated Bar; notify national officers as well as members of national committees of their election or appointment; cause to be prepared the necessary official ballots for the election of Governors; and perform such other duties as are assigned to him by these By-Laws, by the President and by the Board of Governors.
(e) Treasurer: The Treasurer shall collect, receive, record, and disburse all funds of the Integrated Bar; however, no disbursement shall be made except over his signature, countersigned by the President, or in the absence or inability of the President by the Executive Vice President, or in the absence or inability of both, by a member of the Executive Committee designated by the President. He shall render reports of receipts and disbursements as required by the Board of Governors; promptly remit to the Chapters concerned their proportionate shares in the dues and assessments paid by members directly to the national office under Section 23 (Membership dues); assist in the preparation of the annual budget; and perform such other duties as are assigned to him by these By-Laws, by the President and by the Board of Governors. He shall furnish a surety bond at the expense of the Integrated Bar, in such amount as may be required by the Board.
SEC. 51. Delegation of duties. - The functions and duties of the Secretary and the Treasurer may, in their absence or inability, be performed by assistants or employees of the Integrated Bar designated by the President.
ARTICLE VIII (Sections 52 to 67) NATIONAL COMMITTEES
SEC. 52. National Committees. - The Board of Governors shall establish and maintain standing national committees. Until otherwise changed, modified or redefined by the Board, the respective names, powers, prerogatives, functions, duties and responsibilities of the standing committees shall be as set forth in this Article. The Board shall have authority to create additional standing committees and special committees, and to define their respective powers, prerogatives, functions, duties and responsibilities.
Every committee shall submit an annual report to the President, but the Board may at any time require any committee to submit a special report.
SEC. 53. Membership of committees. - Each national committee shall consist of such number of members as may be fixed by the Board of Governors. They shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Board, and shall serve for a term of two years, and until their respective successors shall have been duly appointed and qualified. The chairman of each committee shall be designated by the President.
Three consecutive absences of any member from committee meetings without justifiable excuse shall be a ground for the President to appoint his replacement.
SEC. 54. Committee on Chapter Affairs. - This committee shall make studies of, and submit reports and recommendations on, the establishment, organization and operation of all Chapters, the apportionment and reapportionment of the seats in the House of Delegates, and the means and methods of encouraging and coordinating Chapter activities and of promoting maximum involvement and participation of the members of the Integrated Bar in the activities thereof and of their respective Chapters.
SEC. 55. Committee on Legal Aid. - This committee shall promote the establishment and efficient maintenance of Chapter legal aid organizations suited to provide free legal service; direct and supervise all Chapter legal aid organizations; maintain maximum levels of coordination and cooperation with other organizations having similar objectives; receive and solicit aid and assistance from any available and suitable source or sources, provided that the independent character of the legal aid is not impaired; and, in general, do or cause to be done all things necessary and proper for the promotion of legal aid activities, projects and objectives.
SEC. 56. Committee on Administration of Justice. - This committee shall study the organization and operation of the judicial system and recommend appropriate changes in practice and procedure to improve the efficiency thereof, and, in that connection, shall examine all proposed changes in the system.
It shall collate information and submit appropriate recommendations on judicial appointments, judicial tenure and compensation, and retirement pensions.
SEC. 57. Committee on Legal Education and Bar Admissions. - This committee shall make continuing studies of, and submit recommendations on, the curriculum and teaching methods in law schools, as well as standards and methods in law schools, as well as standards and methods in determining the qualifications of applicants for admission to the Bar, and whenever requested shall assist in the investigation of the qualifications of persons seeking admission to the Bar.
It shall formulate, and promote or co-sponsor with other groups of institutions, programs designed to afford members of the Integrated Bar suitable opportunities for acquiring, here and abroad, additional professional knowledge, training and skill.
SEC. 58. Committee on Professional Responsibility, Discipline and Disbarment. - This committee shall formulate the Canons of Professional Responsibility for adoption by the Board of Governors and approval by the Supreme Court, and submit recommendations on methods for the effective enforcement thereof as well as on appropriate amendments thereto.
It shall have authority to express advisory opinions, upon written request of any member, on any matter affecting his own professional conduct. In no case shall the opinion of the committee disclose the name of any party.
The committee may call upon any Chapter officer or Chapter committee member to exchange information as to problems arising under the Canons of Professional Responsibility and to examine grievance procedures. It shall make recommendations to the Board of Governors for reform and improvements in the said procedures.
SEC. 59. Committee on Research Services. This committee shall plan the research services of the Integrated Bar in substantive and adjective law, and, together with other institutions, promote legal research and law reform and development. It shall select areas of the law in need of general study, revision or codification; formulate plans and prepare budgets for specific research projects; assess the availability of qualified personnel to perform research work; and submit recommendations thereon. It shall periodically render progress reports on authorized projects, and provide necessary supervision for the successful completion of each project.
SEC. 60. Committee on Legislation. – This committee shall study all proposed changes in the Constitution and in statutes and laws of general interests or general application and submit reports thereon, and, with the approval of the Board of Governors, shall represent the Integrated Bar in supporting or opposing such proposals.
SEC. 61. Committee on Public Service. – This committee shall prepare and submit plans for advancing public acceptance of the objectives and purposes of the Integrated Bar, and shall execute such plans as are approved by the Board of Governors. These plans shall include arrangements for disseminating information of interest to the public in relation to the functions of the departments of government, the judicial system and the Bar; and to that end the committee may operate an information bureau and utilize the facilities of the media of public communication.
SEC. 62. Committee on Inter-Professional and Business Relations. – This committee shall maintain liaison between the legal profession and other professions as well as business groups in order to acquaint the latter on the nature and proper scope of the practice of law.
SEC. 63. Committee on Books and Publications. – This committee shall make studies of, and submit recommendations on, matters and materials for publication, and ways and means of assisting in the efficient publications of legal literature at reasonable costs, and of discouraging unnecessary publications or duplication thereof.
SEC. 64. Committee on Unauthorized Practice of Law. – This committee shall keep the Integrated Bar informed with respect to the practice of law by unauthorized persons and entities, as well as the participation therein of members of the Bar, and recommend ways and means for the elimination and prevention of unauthorized practice of law.
SEC. 65. Committee on Law Reporting. – This committee shall examine and appraise methods of reporting and disseminating legislation, presidential decrees, court decisions, the Rules of Court, and decisions of administrative tribunals and agencies, with particular emphasis on the correction of deficiencies; conduct a continuing study and evaluation of corresponding trends and reforms in other jurisdictions; and submit appropriate recommendations thereon.
SEC. 66. Public Statements. – No committee or member thereof shall publicly express any opinion or conclusion respecting the assigned functions or work of the committee without previous authorization from the Board of Governors or the Executive Committee.
SEC. 67. Finances of committees. – Every committee shall file with the Secretary of the Integrated Bar a detailed statement setting forth necessary data on the funds required in connection with its work for consideration and action by the Board of Governors. No committee shall incur any obligation payable by the Integrated Bar without the Board’s prior approval.
ARTICLE IX (Sections 68 to 75) FISCAL CONTROL
SEC. 68. Fiscal Year. – The Integrated Bar shall operate on fiscal year beginning on January 1 and ending on December 31 of each year. (As amended pursuant to Bar Matter No. 668)
SEC. 69. Budget Committee. – The President, with the approval of the Board of Governors, shall appoint a budget committee consisting of not less than three or more than five Governors, with the Executive Vice President as Chairman, whose responsibility shall be the preparation of the annual budget.
SEC. 70. Preparation and approval of the budget. – The preparation, consideration, approval and publication of the budget shall be in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the Board.
SEC. 71. Automatic re-enactment. – If by the end of any fiscal year the Board shall have failed to pass the budget for the ensuing fiscal year, the budget for the preceding fiscal year shall be deemed re-enacted and shall remain in force and effect until a new budget is adopted by the Board.
SEC. 72. Amendments to the Budget. – The Board may from time to time amend the budget in order to provide funds for necessary expenditures: Provided, however, that the total of the increases made in the items of the budget, including new items created by such amendments, shall not exceed ten per cent of the total estimated income of the Integrated Bar for the current fiscal year. If the proposed amendments shall cause the total of the increases and the new items to exceed such limitation, the same procedure required for the adoption of the original budget shall be followed.
SEC. 73. Disbursements. – No disbursements shall be made except in accordance with the budget.
SEC. 74. Unexpended balances. – All unexpended balances of appropriations shall revert at the end of every fiscal year to the funds from which they were appropriated.
SEC. 75. Accounting and audit. – The Board shall cause books of accounts to be kept and maintained in accordance with sound accounting practices. An annual external audit of all funds, accounts, receipts and disbursement of the Integrated Bar shall be made without delay after the end of every fiscal year. A summary of such audit shall be published in the following September issue of the Journal of the Integrated Bar.
(Section 76) JOURNAL
SEC. 76. Journal of the Integrated Bar. – The Board of Governors shall cause to be published a quarterly Journal, and to this end shall be assisted by a board of editorial consultants, and members of which shall be appointed by the President, with the consent of the Board. The editorial consultants shall hold office at the pleasure of the Board.
Every member of the Integrated Bar is entitled to receive a free copy of every issue of the Journal.
(Section 77) AMENDMENTS
SEC. 77. Amendments. – These By-Laws may be amended, modified or repealed by the Supreme Court motu proprio or upon the recommendation of the Board of Governors.
(Section 78) EFFECTIVITY
SEC. 78. Effectivity. – These By-Laws shall take effect on November 1, 1974.