SC says active COVID-19 cases among personnel reach 61

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 24 2021 08:36 PM

MANILA - Active COVID-19 cases among the Supreme Court's personnel have reached 61, its spokesperson Brian Hosaka said on Wednesday. 

In a statement, Hosaka said the Court En Banc already issued a resolution on Tuesday ordering the "drastic reduction" of personnel in the SC until Friday, as well as in courts in the provinces and areas under the "NCR Plus" bubble.

The provinces and areas under the bubble include Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

"A drastically reduced personnel would mean a skeleton force sufficient in number to attend to urgent matters preferably via teleconferencing," the statement read, noting that discretion is still given to the different office heads on the matter. 

The High Court also clarified that the courts will not be closed, just like during the strict lockdowns last year.

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"We only adjusted the number of employees physically reporting in order to make sure that we continue being accessible to the people."

The Supreme Court earlier scaled down operations of trial courts as Metro Manila continues to log a high number of daily infections. It also allowed presiding judges of different courts to independently declare closure of their own salas.

Two labor unions from the SC, meanwhile, have asked for a two-week work timeout, while a Quezon City court asked to close the Hall of Justice buildings for 2 weeks.

Last week, the growing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases prompted the Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan to physically close their offices for disinfection and reduce their manpower.

 

The Department of Justice, meanwhile, went on lockdown but only until Tuesday.

- Reports from Johnson Manabat and Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News