MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) will be physically open until May 14, 2021, despite adjusted work arrangements in lower courts during the modified enhanced community quarantine period (MECQ).
SC Spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka clarified that “only the SC offices are physically open”.
“The other courts (covered by the MECQ) are to remain physically closed,” he said.
All offices in the Supreme Court shall be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 3 to 14, 2021, read the order of Clerk of Court Marife Cuevas and approved by Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo.
Adjusted work arrangements in courts lower than the SC, including physical closure in select areas, were extended last week following the declaration of another period of MECQ.
Under the advisory, the seven-day extension under previous issuances for the filing and service of pleadings, motions, and other court submission with the Supreme Court started Monday.
The National Capital Region, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna, will be under MECQ until May 14, and until May 31 in Quirino and Abra provinces and Santiago City in Isabela.
In Administrative Circular No. 29-2021 dated April 30, Gesmundo said all first and second level courts, and appellate collegiate courts and their judicial officers in the areas “shall continue to be physically closed until May 14”.
The order also applies to court and judicial offices in other areas under localized ECQ and MECQ.
Essential judicial offices shall maintain the necessary skeleton staff to address urgent matters and concerns while courts in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ shall be physically opened with a workforce of not more than 25 percent. (PNA)