Bar passers to undergo COVID-19 rapid test before roll signing: Supreme Court

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 18 2020 02:39 PM

MANILA — Bar passers will have to hurdle one more test before becoming full-fledged lawyers - a COVID-19 rapid test.

In the guidelines issued Thursday by the Supreme Court for new lawyers who will be signing the Roll of Attorneys, undergoing a rapid test for the new coronavirus is required of them.

The SC clinic doctor will administer the screening before they enter the SC premises on the day of their scheduled signing.

The roll signing will take place from July 6 until Aug. 3.

It is the first the SC is requiring a medical test before the signing of the roll. The protocol is part of efforts to combat the spread of the disease.

Aside from wearing formal attire, the new lawyers are also required to use face masks or any face shield. 

The high court earlier installed disinfection chambers at its Padre Faura offices in Manila City.

All employees there went through rapid testing for the respiratory pathogen, of whom, 2 or 3 tested positive, according to Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta.

The 2,103 passers of last year's Bar will be e-mailed a link through which they can choose until June 24 the schedule of their roll signing, according to the announcement issued by Deputy Clerk of Court and Bar Confidant Rosita Requillas-Nacional. 

The new lawyers are advised to come an hour earlier than their schedule. Certain fees will also have to be paid.

An important requirement is a proof that they joined the online oath-taking set on June 25. They are required to submit a notarized affidavit that they attended the said event "within Philippine territory" and that they took a photograph or screenshot of their attendance. 

SC Associate Justice Marvic Leonen is expected to address the new lawyers, based on a copy of the program. The ceremony will be aired live on a government TV station.