SC extends applications for local testing sites for 2021 Bar exams
he Supreme Court held a mock digitalized Bar examinations on Sunday, January 31. The test was conducted in four venues: Baguio, Makati, Cebu, Davao.
Screenshot from the Supreme Court Public Information Office livestream

SC extends applications for local testing sites for 2021 Bar exams

(Philstar.com) - March 31, 2021 - 12:28pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has extended the period of application for institutions to apply as local testing centers for the 2021 Bar examinations in November.

The SC initially set the deadline on March 30, but the Office of the Bar Chairperson had taken into consideration the enhanced community quarantine status imposed on Metro Manila and four nearby provinces.

“As such, and to give other institutions more time to consider joining this historic endeavor, the period of sending letters of intent is extended to April 8, 2021, Thursday,” Bar Bulletin No. 20 signed by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, also 2020/21 Bar Examinations Chairperson read.

The National Capital Region, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite and Bulacan will remain under ECQ until April 4. Extension of the ECQ period will be discussed by the government’s coronavirus task force on Saturday.

The SC earlier said they will announce on or before June 1 the local testing centers.

The 2021 Bar Exams will be taken by aspiring lawyers digitally, but not remotely. In a Bar bulletin in February, Leonen explained examinees will still walk into testing rooms and their exams will be proctored. Handwritten exams will still be allowed in exceptional cases.

Examinees will be assigned to testing centers in the closest locality to their residence, or the school they graduated from, or for any other consideration. This will depend on the final listing of approved testing centers.

20 letters of intent received so far

The high court has so far received 20 letters of intent from various institutions. These letters will be processed following the order in which they were sent.

“These prospective testing centers are spread throughout the archipelago, which will enable Bar candidates to substantially reduce their expenses for taking the examinations,” the SC said.

In an earlier bulletin, the court said once they receive the letter of intent, they will contact the applicant to discuss matters such as schedule of visit and terms and condition in the memorandum of agreement.

Among the requirements for testing centers are it should be able to accommodate at least 1,000 examinees with strict 1-meter social distancing on all sides. Other requirements may be found in this Bar bulletin.

Bar exams are traditionally held during the four Sundays of November each year at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. But the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine protocols enforced across the country to curb its spread pushed back the conduct of the exams to 2021. — Kristine Joy Patag

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