The Supreme Court on Thursday said the 2022 Bar Examinations will proceed as scheduled this month amid calls for postponement from some examinees after severe tropical storm Paeng ravaged parts of the country.
In a Bar bulletin, the SC said it was aware of the appeals aired mostly on social media to postpone the examination set on November 9, 13, 16, and 20.
The High Court said the office of Associate Justice and 2022 Bar Exams Committee Chair Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa has assessed and surveyed the 14 local testing centers to check if these are capable and ready to still hold the exam as scheduled.
The SC said all the local testing centers as well as the local government units where these are located categorically indicated that they remain prepared and ready to participate in the Bar exams as scheduled.
The LTCs are at San Beda University, De La Salle University, Manila Adventist College, Ateneo Junior High School Complex, Ateneo de Manila University, and the state-run University of the Philippines-Diliman campus for Metro Manila.
Three schools in Luzon will also host the exam for areas outside Metro Manila, namely the University of St. Louis in Baguio City, De La Salle Lipa City, and University of Nueva Caceres in Naga City.
In the Visayas, these are University of Cebu, University of San Jose Recoletos in Cebu City, and Dr. Vicente Orestes Romualdez Education Foundation in Tacloban City while the Mindanao schools serving as LTCs are Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro, Ateneo de Davao, and Ateneo de Zamboanga in Zamboanga City.
The High Court said it also considered the sentiments of those keen on taking the exam as scheduled as well as the hundreds of personnel and volunteers who will serve in the conduct of the exam before it decided to proceed.
“Taking all of these under consideration, it is the examined position of the Court that the 2022 Bar examinations on November 9, 13, 16, and 20, 2022 will proceed as scheduled,” the SC said.
“Far from impervious to the needs and struggles of the examinees who are struggling in the aftermath of severe tropical storm Paeng, and as the Court fully understands that this may not restore to the affected examinees the true cost of their preparations for the Bar examinations, it deems it right that examinees who may be unable to take the 2022 Bar examinations as scheduled for the foregoing reason may apply for a refund of their Bar fees with the Office of the Bar Confidant,” it added.
The SC said the Bar fees paid may also be applied to the 2023 Bar examinations set in September.
The tribunal also explained that postponing this year’s exam will have “ripple effects” on the next Bar examinations.
The “regionalized and digitalized” set-up of the examinations was held first in the 2020 and 2021 Bar exams in February this year.
A total of 11,402 took the 2020/2021 Bar exams but only 8,241 or 72.28 percent managed to pass.
The 72.28 percent passing rate is a record high, with the highest recorded in Bar history being the 1954 examination with 75.17 percent.