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Chief Justice Peralta mulls holding online Bar exams next year

Hananeel Bordey

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In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court is considering online Bar examinations in 2021, said Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta.

During the Senate Finance Committee’s deliberations of the  Judiciary’s budget for 2021, Senator Francis Tolentino has asked the magistrate if it is possible to hold the examination virtually.

Tolentino, a lawyer, noted that this has been considered in other countries, specifically in Michigan, District of Columbia, Louisiana, and New York in the United States.

“We are thinking of that. We are considering that. Next year probably,” Peralta said noting that the Bar Examinations for 2020 have been postponed following the declaration of state of emergency brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Peralta also informed the committee that the high court has decided to hold bar exams simultaneously in Manila, Cebu, and one in Mindanao.

“We will not hold anymore the 2020 bar exams. We have moved the bar exams to November 2021. So there are no more bar exams for the year 2020. So ang mangyayari magkaksabay yung 2020 at 2021,” he said.

Peralta along with Court Administrator Midas Marquez virtually attended the Senate hearing to present the Judiciary’s budget for 2021.

For next year, the Judiciary proposed P55.88 billion but the Executive Department only allotted P43.54 billion under the 2021 National Expenditures Program.

The Judiciary has also presented their “motion for reconsideration” before Congress asking the Senate to revive the P6.58 billion worth of expenditures from their original budget proposal.

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