SC resets Bar exams as virus affects examinees and court staff

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THE Supreme Court has postponed the holding of the Bar examinations to February 4 and 6, noting the surge in Covid-19 cases that affected many examinees and Court personnel alike.

At least 16.8 percent of the 8,546 Bar examinees who have responded to an e-mail sent by the Office of the Bar Chairperson are under any of these situations, according to a Bar Bulletin issued on Friday: positive for Covid-19; living with someone positive for Covid-19; or under quarantine due to a direct contact.  They are at risk of not being able to take the Bar Examinations if the original schedule of January 23 to 25, 2022 were to push through, said Justice Marvic Leonen, 2020/21 Bar Examinations chairperson.

“Also, given the current infection rate and quarantine situation of the Bar  personnel, 16 of the 31 teams that will be deployed will be critically understaffed if the  current schedule were maintained,” the court’s Bulletin reported.

“Considering these numbers, as well as the projections of the Court’s expert  consultants on the progress of this current Covid-19 surge, the Supreme Court En  Banc has unanimously decided that the Bar Examinations be rescheduled to February  4, 2022, Friday; and February 6, 2022, Sunday.  

The Court thanked the local governments that helped it assess the situation of the examinees, including those from the cities of Makati, Pasay, Manila, Quezon and Taguig in Metro Manila; Baguio City; San Fernando, La Union; Tuguegarao City, Cagayan; Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya; Angeles, Pampanga; Lipa City, Batangas; Calapan City, Mindoro; and Naga, Camarines Sur in Luzon;

The cities of Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Dumaguete City and Tacloban in Visayas; and the cities of Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Davao City and General Santos in Mindanao.

The Court also thanked the schools that will host the Command Center and serve  as local testing centers.

All existing instructions in previous Bar Bulletins not affected by the court decision  remain effective, Leonen said. All examinees will be advised to strictly undergo quarantine by January 20, 2022, Thursday.