In-court hearings resume in NCR
MANILA, Philippines — With the recent easing of restrictions on movement in the National Capital Region (NCR), the Supreme Court has issued an order allowing the resumption of in-person proceedings at the Sandigambayan, the Court of Appeals and the Court of Tax Appeals starting on Wednesday.
“All appellate collegiate courts within the NCR beginning Oct. 20, 2021, until Oct. 29, 2021, may conduct in-court proceedings on urgent matters and on matters as may be determined by the presiding justice or the chairpersons of the different divisions,” read the Administrative Circular No. 83-2021, signed by Acting Chief Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe.
However, the notice dated Oct. 18 said “in-court attendance shall be limited to lawyers, parties and witnesses required to participate in-court.”
“All others who are not required to be in court but wish to observe the proceedings may do so through videoconferencing, subject to existing guidelines,” it read.
Courts and other offices were ordered to maintain a skeleton workforce of 30 percent.
The suspension of the time for filing and service of pleadings and motions has also been lifted, with the period for filing and service to resume seven calendar days from Oct. 20. Electronic submissions may also be done.
The NCR has been placed under alert level 3 from Oct. 16 to 31. Also starting on Wednesday, the government has expanded the implementation of its new five-tier alert level system for COVID-19 response to areas outside NCR. —NASTASHA DE VILLA
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