PH conducts first bar exams during COVID-19 pandemic

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 04 2022 12:24 PM

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MANILA - A number of roads in Makati City were closed on Friday morning in light of the conduct of the 2020/2021 Bar Exams.

The Supreme Court shortened the Bar exams to two days - Feb. 4 and Feb. 6 - amid concerns over the effects of the COVID-19 omicron variant and the devastation caused by Typhoon Odette late last year.

Examinees told ABS-CBN News that the pandemic, which prompted the cancellation of the exams first in 2020 and brought many changes to the annual test, caused more uncertainty and challenges than the usual exam format.

Nonetheless, they said they are relieved that the Bar Exams are pushing through.

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In Cebu, aspiring lawyers flocked to the three testing sites there before sunrise to take the exams. Cebu City Emergency Operations Head Joel Garganera said there are more than 1,000 examinees.

Garganera said some examinees were sent home after testing positive for COVID-19.

“We exhausted all means to talk to the Supreme Court to give them a special arrangement, but they did not agree,” he said.

Policemen were deployed to ensure peace and order in the testing sites. The local government of Cebu also assured exam takers there will be no power interruption. 

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PH conducts first bar exams during COVID-19 pandemic 2
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Cebu City Emergency Operations Center

Cebu City Emergency Operations Center

Cebu City Emergency Operations Center

In Naga City, aspiring lawyers went to the University of Nueva Caceres for the exams. 

Mayor Nelson Legacion thanked the police for ensuring peace and security near the testing sites.

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PH conducts first bar exams during COVID-19 pandemic 5
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Mayor Nelson Legacion

Mayor Nelson Legacion

Mayor Nelson Legacion

Last year, the SC announced that the Bar is going to be digitalized, localized, and proctored. It was also announced that Bar examinees were to use their own Wi-Fi-enabled laptops, instead of the traditional exams that required all answers to be handwritten.

--with reports from Aireen Jaymalin and Annie Perez, and Anna Cerezo and Lyza Aquino, ABS-CBN News