The Supreme Court (SC) will still maintain only 30 percent of its total workforce reporting physically until Nov. 5., Acting Chief Justice Estela M. Perlas Bernabe announced on Wednesday, Oct. 27.
However, at least 50 percent of employees at the SC’s Office of the Bar Confidant, Medical and Dental Services, Security Division, and Maintenance Division is required to report physically.
Those not required to report physically will work from home as mandated in previous SC circulars.
“Personal filing” of petitions and court-required documents is still not allowed. Filing can be done online or coursed through the mails or courier accredited service providers.
Bernabe, who is acting Chief Justice with the wellness leave of Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo until the first week of November, reiterated that officials and employees reporting physically for work will be medically checked upon entering the SC premises, and those who have not reported for the past 15 days will undergo antigen test.
Also, officials and employees assigned to physically report for work but are residing in areas under granular lockdown or in places under micro-level quarantine should be replaced by those residing in areas under lower alert levels, it also stated.
The SC justices are on a three-week decision-writing period until Nov. 8. There are no sessions in the SC’s three divisions and in the full court unless there is a very urgent case that is brought before it for resolution.
Appellate collegiate courts – Court of Appeals (CA), Sandiganbayan, and Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) – and trial courts in the National Capital Region (NCR) had been allowed by the SC to conduct limited in-court proceedings on urgent matters.
The urgency of a case should be determined by the appellate courts’ presiding justices or the justices who head the courts’ divisions and the judges of the trial courts.
Attendance during in-court proceedings should be limited to lawyers, parties, and witnesses required to participate, the SC said.
Workforce in the appellate collegiate courts is limited to 30 percent of the total personnel. Fifty per cent of the total workforce is required in the trial courts.