Bring Bar exams to Mindanao, solon asks SC

Published September 9, 2020, 1:20 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Why not extend the Bar examinations to the Mindanao region next year?

Cagayan de Oro 2nd district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez made this pitch Wednesday, a day after the Supreme Court (SC) announced that it won’t hold Bar exams this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez

The High Court also said it would carry out the next Bar exams in November 2021.

“Since the SC has set the next exams for November next year, the court will have sufficient time to designate a city in Mindanao as an additional test venue,” Rodriguez said.

He said the SC earlier announced that other than Metro Manila, where it has been administering the test for law graduates, the next exams would be conducted for the first time outside the National Capital Region (NCR) in Cebu City to lessen the cost for examinees.

“For aspiring lawyers in Mindanao, taking the exams in Cagayan de Oro City, Davao City, or General Santos City would mean lesser expenses compared to traveling and staying for at least a month for the pre-week bar review in Cebu City or in Manila,” he said.

Rodriguez pointed out that assuming the vaccine is already available or the COVID-19 pandemic is already over by November next year, people would still be suffering from loss of jobs and income, and from incurring higher amounts of personal and household expenses due to the health crisis.

“So definitely, having the exams in more accessible and affordable places would benefit not only law graduates but their families as well,” he stressed.

The SC is yet to announce the venues for next year’s exams.