Supreme Court reduces coverage, duration of Bar exams

Robie de Guzman   •   January 4, 2022   •   206

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday announced it has reduced the coverage and the duration of the Bar Examination in view of the Omicron COVID-19 variant and effects of the Typhoon Odette.

In a statement, the SC said that, upon the recommendation of the Bar Chairperson, has resolved to reduce the coverage and shorten the duration of the 2020/21 Bar Examinations pro hac vice.

“The Court noted that the bar examinees for this coming bar has reviewed for longer than all the other batches taking the bar exams under very difficult conditions,” it said.

Per the Court En Banc’s January 4, 2022 Resolution, the examinations with the revised coverage will be held on January 23, 2022, Sunday; and on January 25, 2022, Tuesday, the high court said.

The Bar exams was supposed to be held for four Sundays starting January 16.

The SC said examinees will take four sets of examinations, encompassing the usual eight subjects: (1) The Law Pertaining to the State and Its Relationship with Its Citizens (formerly Political Law, Labor Law, and Taxation Law); (2) Criminal Law; (3) The Law Pertaining to Private Personal and Commercial Relations (formerly Civil Law and Commercial Law); and (4) Procedure and Professional Ethics (formerly Remedial Law, Legal Ethics, and Practical Exercises).

“The Bar Chairperson will release Bar Bulletin No. 31, s. 2022 which provides the revised coverage for each examination,” the SC said.

“All examinees are strongly advised to self-quarantine starting January 9, 2022, or at least two weeks before the Bar Examinations,” it added.

The Supreme Court said these changes pro hac vice seek to meet the demand for new lawyers amid the disasters plaguing the country.

It also noted that the Philippines has produced no new lawyers since the pandemic started in March 2020.

“No vax, no ride” policy sa NCR, epektibo lang sa ilalim ng COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   January 27, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Nilinaw ng Malakanyang na iiral lamang ang “no vaccination, no ride” policy sa mga pampublikong transportasyon sa National Capital Region (NCR) kapag nakataas ang COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

Ginawa ni Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles ang pahayag kasunod ng pagkwestiyon ng Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) sa polisiya na anila’y isang uri ng diskriminasyon.

Ayon kay TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay, labag ang polisiya sa Republic Act 11525 na nagbabawal sa mandatory requirement ng vaccination card sa trabaho, empleyo, at sa mga transaksyon sa government offices, at serbisyo gaya ng public transportation.

Ito ay anti-poor at dapat maging patas ang gobyerno sa pagpapatupad ng polisiyang ito dahil kahit iyong mga ordinaryong rank and file na manggagawa ay mulat doon sa batas, mulat doon sa karapatan lalong lalo na ang freedom of choice. Mayroon silang karapatan kung ano ang mas makakabuti sa kanilang kalusugan para sa kanilang katawan,” ani Tanjusay.

Ngunit ayon kay Nograles, nakabatay sa mga ordinansa ng mga lokal na pamahalaan sa NCR ang pagpapatupad ng “no vaccination, no ride” policy ng Department of Transportation.

Ganito rin ang pahayag ni DOTr Undesecretary Artemio Tuazon at iginiit na malinaw naman ang panuntunan ng polisiya na hindi na ito ipatutupad kapag ibinaba sa Alert Level 2 ang NCR.

“Ang no vax, no ride policy under Department Order 2022-01 ay valid lang po sa loob ng NCR. Linawin ko lang po yun, yun po ay para sa NCR, dito lang po. At valid lang po yun, habang ang NCR ay nasa Alert Level 3, or mas mataas,” ani Tuazon.

“Kapag bumaba po ang ating alert level dito, masususpinde na po yung polisiya,” dagdag pa niya.

Nasa ilalim ng Alert Level 3 ang NCR hanggang sa Enero 31.

Sa weekend, inaasahang iaanunsyo ng Inter-Agency Task Force ang alert level status na paiiralin sa NCR para sa buwan ng Pebrero.

Palace welcomes survey showing drop in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among Filipinos

Robie de Guzman   •   January 27, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday welcomed a survey that showed a drop in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among Filipinos.

In a statement, acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the latest survey results mean that the government’s pandemic response is “a step towards the right direction” to restore normalcy.

Nograles issued the statement in response to the survey released Wednesday by the Independent pandemic monitoring OCTA Research team, which stated that 98 percent of Filipinos who have already completed their primary vaccine series did not contract COVID-19.

OCTA’s fourth quarter Tugon ng Masa survey conducted last December 7 to 12, also showed that the vaccine hesitancy among adult Filipinos dropped nationwide after five percent of respondents said they are not willing to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease.

This is a significant decline from the 22 percent vaccine hesitancy recorded by OCTA during its survey conducted in the third quarter of 2021, from September 11 to 16.

OCTA conducted the poll using face-to-face interviews with a sample size of 1,200 adult respondents.

“We are encouraged by the latest results of the OCTA Research December 2021 Tugon ng Masa National Survey, which highlight two important points: first, COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among adult Filipinos dropped to 5%; and second, only 2% of adult Filipinos contracted COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated,” Nograles said.

“This is incontrovertible evidence that COVID-19 vaccines protect us, our loved ones, and our communities from the virus. It also emphasizes that vaccination is a step towards the right direction in our efforts to restore normalcy,” he added.

Nograles said that as of January 26, 2022, a total of 125,089,118 vaccine doses have been administered in the Philippines with more than 58.1-M Filipinos now fully vaccinated.

“Having said this, we will continue to explore different methods to make vaccines more accessible to our people – such as the Resbakuna sa Botika Drive and the We Vax as One Mobile Vaccination Drive for Transport Workers—as part of our goal to inoculate 90 million Filipinos by the end of the term of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” he added.

 

Duterte appoints new Court of Appeals justice

Robie de Guzman   •   January 27, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has designated a Malacañang official as the new associate justice of the Court of Appeals (CA), according to a document posted by the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday.

A transmittal of his appointment letter to the high court named Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Michael Pastores Ong as a new CA justice.

The SC Public Information Office said Ong will take his oath before Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo on Thursday at 10 a.m.

Ong will take the post vacated by Samuel Gaerlan, who was designated as SC associate justice last year.

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