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Leonen bares 24 testing centers across PHL for November Bar examinations

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THE Supreme Court-Office of the 2020/2021 Bar Chairperson has announced that a total of 24 institutions have been approved to serve as local testing centers for the forthcoming Bar examinations in November.

At the same time, Associate Justice and 2020/2021 Bar Examinations Chairperson Marvic Leonen gave Bar applicants the leeway to select their chosen testing centers once their applications have been approved by the Court en banc.

“The Bar Chairperson also advises the applicants to choose the testing center closest to their residence. This will not only reduce their expenses, but will also free up the slots in vicinities closest to those with the least resources. In this pandemic, while we allow the applicants to make their own choices, we hope that they will do so with responsibility and compassion,” the Office of the 2020/2021 Bar Chairperson said in its Bar Bulletin No. 23, Series of 2021.

The Court earlier allowed the regionalization of the next Bar examinations to reduce the examinees’ travel and accommodation expenses, as well as minimize their transit in compliance with existing health guidelines being implemented amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among the approved testing centers in Metro Manila are Ateneo de Manila University Law School, Ateneo Professional Schools in Makati City (maximum 269 slots); Manila Adventist College in Pasay City (maximum 450 slots); University of Makati (maximum 1,000 slots); Far Eastern University (maximum 600 slots); University of Santo Tomas, España Boulevard, Sampaloc, Manila (maximum 500 slots).

For the Cordillera Administrative Region, the Office of the Bar Chairperson designated St. Louis University School of Law in Baguio City with maximum 1,035 slots; for Region 1 or the Ilocos Region the testing center assigned is St. Louis College in San Fernando City, La Union with maximum 1,280 slots; for Region 2 or Cagayan Valley the designated testing center  were  Cagayan State University College of Law in Carig Sur, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan with maximum 421 slots and  St. Mary’s University College of Law, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya  with maximum 259 slots.

For Bar examinees in Region 4A (Calabarzon), the De La Salle University in Lipa City, Batangas with maximum 1,125 slots, while the testing center for those in Region 4B (Mimaropa) designated testing center is the  City College of Calapan in  Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro with a maximum of 200 slots.

The other testing centers are University of Nueva Caceres in Naga, Camarines Sur with maximum 1,000 slots (Region 5 or Bicol Region); Central Philippine University in Jaro, Iloilo City, Iloilo with maximum 475 slots and  the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental with a maximum of 1,340 slots (Region 6 or the Western Visayas); University of San Jose Recoletos in Basak, Pardo, Cebu City with a maximum of 600 slots, University of Cebu School of Law in Banilad, Cebu City with a maximum of 1,000 slots, University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance in  Cebu City with a maximum 200 slots, Silliman University College of Law in  Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental with maximum of 1,000 slots all in Region 7 or Central Visayas.

Dr. V. Orestes Romualdez Educational Foundation in Tacloban City, Leyte with maximum of 400 slots for Region 8 (Eastern Visayas; Ateneo de Zamboanga University in  Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur with maximum 365 slots, for those in Region 9 or the Zamboanga Peninsula;  Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan College of Law in  Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental with maximum 240 slots and  Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology in  Iligan City, Lanao del Norte with maximum 250 slots for those in Region 10 (Northern Mindanao); Ateneo de Davao University in Bangkal, Davao City with maximum 800 slots for those in Region 11 (Davao Region); and Mindanao State University in  General Santos City with maximum 204 slots for those in Region 12 (Soccsksargen).

The SC added that four other local testing centers in Metro Manila and in Central Luzon are still being considered.

“Separate memoranda of agreement were executed between the Supreme Court and the local testing centers. All parties have guaranteed that the required health and safety protocols shall be strictly implemented and that the community quarantine classifications per area shall be respected,” the Bar bulletin stated.

Under the current set-up, each bar applicant will have to select their local testing center through the Bar PLUS (Personal Login Unified System).

“To make the Bar examinations more inclusive to all examinees, venue-matching will not be on a first-come, first-served basis. Instead, applicants from remote areas will be prioritized. Locations within the Philippines will be ranked from the least to the most remote, and the Bar PLUS will first process the choices of the applicants from the most remote locations,” it added.

The SC launched last July 15, 2021 the Bar PLUS web site for the digital filing of applications to take the Bar examinations.

In connection with this, the Court also announced that Bar applicants now have additional option to pay the Bar application fee online through Landbank Link.Biz portal and the Judiciary ePayment Solutions.

Prior to this, applicants were directed to pay for their Bar application fee via over-the-counter cash deposit in Land Bank of the Philippines branches nationwide.

Bar applicants will also soon have the option of using Visa and Mastercard debit cards and credit cards to pay the fee.

The Judiciary ePayment Solutions was integrated into Bar PLUS last August 12, 2021.

Leonen said the online payment options of the Bar application fee was intended “to make the localized and digitalized exam more seamless, inclusive, accessible, less costly, environmentally friendly, and compliant with safety and health protocols imposed by the Covid-19 Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.”                                               

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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