MANILA - The Supreme Court on Friday announced rescheduling this year's Bar exams to February, as some of its examinees contracted COVID-19 or are in quarantine due to the disease.
The Bar examinations will now be held on Feb. 4 and Feb. 6. It was previously scheduled on Jan. 23 to Jan. 25.
Citing an email survey, the High Court said 16.8 percent of the 8,546 examinees are either positive for the virus, living with someone who has COVID-19, or in quarantine due to exposure as of Friday.
"They are at risk of not being able to take the Bar Examinations if the original schedule... were to push through," the announcement read.
"Also, given the current infection rate and quarantine situation of the Bar personnel, 16 out of 31 teams that will be deployed will be critically understaffed if the current schedule were maintained," it added.
The Supreme Court also urged examinees to undergo self quarantine by Jan. 20.
It earlier shortened the Bar exams to 2 days amid concerns over the effects of the omicron variant of COVID-19 and the devastation caused by Typhoon Odette.
Last year, SC announced that the Bar was going to be digitalized, localized, and proctored. It was also announced that Bar examinees were to take the exams using their own Wi-Fi-enabled laptops instead of the traditional exams that required all answers to be handwritten.
The Philippines is currently facing a new wave of COVID-19 infections most likely driven by the omicron variant.
On Friday, the health department confirmed more than 37,000 new cases, the highest daily tally since the pandemic began.
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- With reports from Job Manahan and Shiela Reyes, ABS-CBN News