TESTING CENTER. Mayor Jerry P. Treñas is hoping the Supreme Court will include Iloilo City as a local testing center for the 2023 bar examinations. The mayor, in his letter addressed to Associate Justice Ramon Paul I. Hernando, the chief of the 2023 Bar Examinations on May 18, 2023, said it would be a disadvantage on the part of bar candidates from law schools in Western Visayas if there is no LTC in the region. (PNA file photo by PGLena)

ILOILO CITY – The local government here is hoping for the Supreme Court to consider establishing a local testing center (LTC) in Iloilo City for the 2023 bar examinations.

Mayor Jerry P. Treñas wrote a letter addressed to Associate Justice Ramon Paul I. Hernando, the chief of the 2023 Bar Examinations, saying that Western Visayas, particularly Iloilo City has proven its capability to be an LTC when hundreds of bar candidates troop to the Central Philippine University (CPU) for the 2020-2021 bar exam.

“We were hopeful that there would be one in the region, particularly in Iloilo City for the 2023 bar examinations, because you identified Iloilo City as a possible LTC in your letter dated Feb. 1, 2023 to the Philippine Association of Law School (PAL).

“Unfortunately, out of the three tentative LTCs enumerated in Bar Bulletin No. 3 which was released today, none are in Iloilo City or even Region VI,” he said in his letter dated May 18 and furnished to the media on Friday.

The mayor said Western Visayas has seven law schools including Aklan College in Aklan; Colegio de La Purisima Concepcion in Capiz; University of Negros Occidental Recoletos and University of St. La Salle in Bacolod; and CPU, University of San Agustin and West Visayas State University in Iloilo City.

“Iloilo City is the home of three law schools and very accessible to the graduates of the four others in Region VI,” he added.

The lack of LTC in the city will put bar candidates from this region at an “enormous disadvantage”.

He said that they will have to shoulder additional expenses and be uprooted from their families and place of work to take the bar examinations in other regions.

“The costs will not just be material, but also emotional, psychological, and physical,” he added.

The two law schools in Iloilo City produced over a hundred new lawyers out of the 3,992 who passed the 2022 bar exams.

Of the 14 tentative LTCs that were identified, three came from Visayas with two from Cebu and one in Tacloban.

Other LTCs included six at the National Capital Region, three in Luzon and two in Mindanao. (PNA)