MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has postponed the conduct of the 2020/21 Bar Examination on January 23 and 25 and rescheduled it to February 4 (Friday) and 6 (Sunday) because a number of examinees were either sick or taking care of the sick or under quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure.
Based on Bar Bulletin No. 33 issued Friday, 16.8 percent of the 8,546 Bar examinees who have responded to an email sent by the Office of the Bar Chairperson are either positive of COVID-19, living with someone infected with COVID-19, or under quarantine due to direct contact with a coronavirus-positive person.
“They are at risk of not being able to take the Bar Examination if the original schedule of January 23 to 25 were to push through,” states Bar Bulletin No. 33 signed by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, the Bar Examination Chairperson.
Aside from the number of affected examinees, the high court also noted the notable rate of COVID-19 infection among the Bar personnel.
The SC said that “16 of 31 teams that will be deployed during the examination will be critically understaffed if the current schedule were maintained.”
It then reminded the examinees to strictly undergo quarantine by January 20.
An email address [email protected] has also been created for any concerns that various help desks already created may not be able to answer or address.
“Be patient. Take a few days off to regain your composure and then continue with your preparations. Soon, those who have the determination, tenacity, and resilience to overcome these challenges will become great lawyers who will serve our people well,” states Bar Bulletin No. 33.
A total of 11,790 examinees will take the upcoming Bar examination, which, for the first time, has been reduced to two days with four sets of examinations, instead of the usual eight subjects — The Law Pertaining to the State and Its Relationship with Its Citizens (formerly Political Law, Labor Law, and Taxation Law); Criminal Law; The Law Pertaining to Private Personal and Commercial Relations (formerly Civil Law and Commercial Law); and Procedure and Professional Ethics (formerly Remedial Law, Legal Ethics, and Practical Exercises).
This year’s examination will also be conducted in multiple sites as the high court has taken into consideration the existing COVID-19 pandemic.