October 4, 2023

The Supreme Court has moved the 2020/2021 Bar examinations from November to January and February next year.

In its bulletin released on Sept. 28, the SC cited the Covid-19 situation and the advice of experts as reasons for the decision to move the examination, which was earlier set on Nov. 7, 14, 21, and 28 to January and February 2022.

The SC said the application period will not be reopened, but preparatory activities for the examinations will continue, including the applicants’ selection of their venue and downloading of the secure exam delivery program.

“After considering the Covid-19 situation nationally and in all the testing sites, as well as receiving advice from various experts, the Supreme Court, after recommendation by the Bar chairperson, with an abundance of caution and to assure the highest level of safety for all the bar applicants and personnel, decided to reset the Bar examinations from November to Jan. 16, 23, 30, and Feb. 6, 2022,” Associate Justice and Bar Chair Marvic Leonen said.

“Treat this as an opportunity. Keep your momentum. Remember that you study not only to pass the Bar, but also so that you will best serve others,” Leonen said.

The 2022/2021 Bar exams will be localized and digitized, the first of its kind since 1901.

Saint Louis University has been chosen as one of the testing centers in the country, after it signed a memorandum of agreement, based on the template provided by the SC en banc.

Among other things, the MOA provides local testing sites must provide AC plugs for the laptops the examinees will use, provide a specific bandwidth, and install CCTV cameras that will allow the SC justices to monitor each classroom in each testing center live in a command center.

During the orientation at SLU in July, Leonen said the localized and digitized Bar examinations is one of the reforms adopted by the SC.

During the city council session on Sept. 27, a day before the SC announced the rescheduling of the Bar exams, Councilor Elaine Sembrano asked Internet service providers in the city if they have also prepared for the Bar exams, considering that the undertaking will be dependent on the Internet.

Officials of PLDT, Globe Telecom, and Converge ICT Solutions said their services can cater to such undertaking as long as they are notified earlier. – Jane B. Cadalig