COVID-19 prompts SC to move Bar exams by a week

COVID-19 prompts SC to move Bar exams by a week
This photo release shows the set up for the oral arguments on the anti-terrorism law petitions in February 2021, conducted following safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supreme Court Public Information Office / Released

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has unanimously decided to move the date of the Bar exams by over a week as examinees and Bar personnel feel the crunch of the unprecedented surge of coronavirus infections.

The Bar exams were pushed to February 4 and February 6 from January 23 to 25 in light of the spike in COVID-19 cases that has affected exam takers and Bar staff.

In a bar bulletin, Bar exams chairperson SC Associate Justice Marvic Leonen said 16.8% of 8,456 examinees said they are either positive for COVID-19, living with someone infected with the virus or under quarantine after being in close contact with someone infected.

“They are at risk of not being able to take the Bar examinations if the original schedule… were to push through,” Leonen said.

He continued, “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.”

With the SC moving the date of the exams, test takers are advised to strictly quarantine by January 20.

This is the latest adjustment in the 2020/21 Bar exams prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The exams’ coverage and duration has been cut due to the spike in COVID-19 cases and the damaging effects of Typhoon Odette that ravaged parts of Visayas and Mindanao in December 2021. — Xave Gregorio with a report from Kristine Joy Patag

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