SC to keep 30% of its total workforce until Nov. 5
MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court will be maintaining 30 percent of its total workforce until Nov. 5, acting Chief Justice Estela Perlas Bernabe said in an administrative order dated Oct. 27.
“The courts and other offices shall maintain a skeleton workforce of at most 30 percent to enable them to address all urgent matters and concerns,” read Administrative Circular No. 85-2021 made public Thursday.
But the Office of the Bar Confidant, Medical and Dental Services, Security Division, and Maintenance Division will have at least 50 percent of its employees reporting physically.
The officials and employees required to report physically will undergo medical check-up upon entering the Supreme Court premises while those who have not reported for the past 15 days will undergo antigen tests.
Officials and employees who are supposed to work physically but reside in areas under granular lockdown or areas under micro-level quarantine will be replaced by those under lower alert levels.
Those not required to report physically will work from home as mandated in previous circulars.
A separate Memorandum Circular stated that personal filing of petitions and the court-required documents would remain in place, meaning filing will be done only through mail or courier accredited service providers.
Bernabe is currently acting chief justice, while Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo is on wellness leave until the first week of November.
Currently, the high court is on a three-week decision-writing break or until Nov. 8. No sessions in the high court except in very urgent cases.
Meanwhile, appellate collegiate courts-Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, and Court of Tax Appeals (CTA), and trial courts in the National Capital Region (NCR) are allowed to conduct limited in-court proceedings on urgent matters.
The high court said the urgency of a case “may be determined by the presiding justice or the chairpersons of the different divisions (in appellate courts).
On the other hand, during an in-court proceeding, attendance is limited to lawyers, parties, and witnesses required to participate.”
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