Tarlac State University and the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) sealed a memorandum of agreement for the implementation of the CDA Laws Awareness Program (CLAP) this afternoon (September 13) at the TSU Main AVR.
CLAP is a program established to train law students and practitioners to expand their legal knowledge in cooperative laws and uplift the level of education and quality of life of the cooperatives and their members.
The partnership materialized through the collaborative efforts of CDA and the TSU School of Law headed by SOL Dean Dr. Jose I. Dela Rama Jr.
As the pioneer of CLAP in Central Luzon, the SOL entered the partnership to help the cooperatives in various legal matters by applying knowledge, skills, and values as part of their Clinical Legal Education Program (CLEP).
The implementation of the partnership between the two institutions aims to promote the spirit of "cooperativism" and social justice, enhance law students' learning opportunities by instilling the value of legal professional social responsibility and prepare them for the practice of law in the cooperative sector, and educate Law Student Practitioners (LSPs) of the SOL Developmental Legal Advocacy Center (DLAC) on the substantive and procedural aspects of the 2019 CDA Charter.
The alliance is also eyed to provide opportunities for the SOL's CLEP to conduct information sessions and training to educate the cooperative's members on their legal rights and render legal services to cooperatives.
Through the agreement, law students will undergo general orientation on the CDA, its mandate, organizational structure, goals, and functions. They will also have a series of training on legal matters involving cooperatives.
Moreover, students will also have the chance to immerse themselves in the CDA to learn its processes and apply their training through legal services.
Deputy Administrator Atty. Leah Banagui-Han, the author of CLAP, expressed her deepest gratitude to TSU for accepting CDA's program.
According to her, around twenty lawyers only practice CDA laws, catering to 18,000 cooperatives.
Likewise, Dean Dela Rama thanked CDA for choosing TSU SOL as the first university to implement CLAP.
“Makakaasa po kayo na sa pamamagitan po ng pag-uumpisa at paglagda ng ating pagkakasunduan ngayong hapon na ito ay mananatili sa aming mga puso at maitatanim namin sa aming mga estudyante ang pagtulong sa komunidad na aming tinuturo sa aming unibersidad,” Dean de la Rama said.
CDA Chairman Undersecretary Joseph B. Encabo also extended his appreciation to the university via a video message for its wholehearted collaboration and dedication to the agreement.
"Together, we will make a profound and true impact on the cooperative sector and in the lives of countless individuals and communities… Let us seize this opportunity to enrich our knowledge, fortify our cooperatives, and contribute to the sustainable development of our beloved country," Usec. Encabo said.
In his message of commitment, TSU President Dr. Arnold E. Velasco pledged his support and promised to enforce all the agreement's provisions to have a more united and progressive university.
“Sa pamamagitan ng partnership na ito ay makatutulong na mapagsilbihan (ng aming mga estudyante) ang mga mamamayan, hindi lamang sa Tarlac, kundi pati na rin sa mga lugar na mapupuntahan ng mga estudyante upang makatulong sa kooperatiba,” Pres. Velasco added.
The tentative schedule for the orientation of law students is on October 26, 2023.
With the fruition of the partnership, CDA hopes that cooperative laws will become a part of the university's curriculum as an elective course. (jlmm-OPA)
Photos by Franc Lewis R. Juanatas