Tagalog Helpline Launched to Better Connect with Filipino Community

Wednesday, March 16th 2016

Advancing Justice – LA has launched its inaugural Tagalog-language helpline to expand the reach of its legal services within the Filipino and Filipino American community in Los Angeles, particularly in the area of citizenship.

Jessica Caloza, Office of Immigrant Affairs for the Mayor, and Advancing Justice - LA's Stewart Kwoh, Carolyn Kim, and Jeanette Sayno commemorate the launch of the new Tagalog Helpline along with other ALLIP staff.

The Tagalog helpline, which is part of Advancing Justice – LA’s Asian Language Legal Intake Project (ALLIP), will allow Tagalog-speaking individuals seeking assistance to speak with an Advancing Justice – LA community advocate in their native language. Callers will also be able to receive assistance in the Hiligaynon and Cebuano dialects.

“Language barriers continue to limit opportunities for millions of Asian Americans, including Filipinos, impacting their ability to integrate fully into American society or access critical services, such as good jobs, citizenship, voting, healthcare, social services, and the judicial system,” said Stewart Kwoh, Advancing Justice - LA President and Executive Director.

Started in 2002, ALLIP consists of toll-free helplines in Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), English, Khmer, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese. The helplines prioritize assistance to low-income community members in the following areas of law: domestic violence and family law, employment, housing, citizenship, and immigration. The addition of a Tagalog helpline reflects Advancing Justice – LA’s commitment to Los Angeles’ diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander community, including the area’s growing Filipino and Filipino American community.

There are more Filipino Americans living in Los Angeles County than in any other county in the United States, and between 2000 and 2010, the Filipino population in Los Angeles County increased by 26 percent to 374,285. Tagalog-language services are especially important for reaching this growing community. Between 2006 and 2010, the number of foreign-born Filipinos in Los Angeles County increased by 63 percent, and 21 percent of Filipinos, ages 5 years and older, in Los Angeles County are limited English Proficient.

Citizenship assistance will be one of the top priorities for the new helpline. A 2015 report from the Center for Migration Studies estimates that 85,000 Filipinos in Los Angeles County are eligible to naturalize.

Advancing Justice – LA has hired a full-time legal advocate to assist callers to the Tagalog helpline. Jeanette Sayno is fluent in Tagalog, as well as the Hiligaynon and Cebuano dialects. Sayno will assist Advancing Justice – LA attorneys in providing services and representation to members of the Filipino community with legal issues.

The toll-free Tagalog helpline telephone number is (855) 300-2552. The Tagalog helpline is generally staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Callers will be able to reach helpline staff or to leave a voicemail message. When they are unable to speak with a live helpline staff member, callers are encouraged to leave a voicemail message including their name and contact information for prompt follow up. Voicemail messages are typically returned within one business day.


Advancing Justice-LA Advancing Justice-LA's helplines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: discrimination, family, immigration, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights. 

English: 888.349.9695
中文: 800.520.2356
한글: 800.867.3640
Tagalog: 855.300.2552
ภาษาไทย: 800.914.9583
Tiếng Việt: 714.477.2958


Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.