Monday to Saturday work at SC with 50% workforce daily starting Nov. 22

Published November 19, 2021, 10:36 AM

by Rey Panaligan 

Supreme Court

Starting Monday, Nov. 22, work in the Supreme Court (SC) will be from Monday to Saturday with 50 percent of the total workforce reporting physically for three consecutive days from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

In a memorandum circular issued by Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo on Friday, Nov. 19, the 50 percent work force will report physically from Monday to Wednesday, while the remaining 50 per cent will work from Thursday to Saturday.

All officials and employees are required to work from home (WFH) for two days to complete the required 40-hour workweek.

Also, the circular stated that chiefs of offices and service departments should report five days a week but they must ensure that one of them must report on Saturdays.

He explained that the flexible shifting is aimed at complying with COVID-19 protocols, particularly on physical distancing, because of the limited space in the SC offices.

He said the work arrangement is in line with the mandate to all government offices to be fully operational under COVID-19 Alert Level 2, a less restrictive quarantine protocol.

The circular stated that “parties (litigants in cases) are merely given the option to file their pleadings on Saturday.”

It also said: “Personal filing shall continue to be allowed but only for initiatory pleadings such as petitions for extension of time to file petition, petition for review, or other original petition requiring payment of docket fees. All other pleadings and court submissions shall continue to be filed electronically under existing e-filing guidelines.”

The SC, through the Office of the Court Administrator which has supervision over lower courts in the country, is expected to issue work guidelines as far as trial courts are concerned.

It is also expected that the SC will issue work guidelines for appellate collegiate courts – Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, and Court of Tax Appeals.