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EDITORIAL: Not Comprehensive

Ordinance No. 2022 -003, “An ordinance authorizing the closing of certain roads, use thereof for certain purposes , and defining prohibited acts , and providing penalties for violations to facilitate the orderly conduct of the 2022 Bar examinations at the University of Nueva Caceres, Naga City on January 23 and 25, 2022 ” of Naga City has been enacted on January 4, 2022 .

It cites the importance of Naga City having been chosen as one of the centers of the Bar examination.

But the very title itself of the ordinance unveils the fact that most of its provisions focus on closure of certain roads and the use thereof for certain purposes. In brief, the ordinance failed to be comprehensive enough in planning for a very significant activity, particularly in dealing with the conduct of the bar exam during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Naga City is just one of the more or less 24 testing centers identified by the Supreme Court.

It has been overlooked that a sizeable number of bar examinees (about 200) will troop to the city on February 4 and 6, 2022 particularly at the University of Nueva Caceres campus, home of the first law school in the Bicol region.

Based on Supreme Court issuances, Bar examinees are to undergo self-quarantine for several days before the examination days the frequency of which had been shortened by two days. The what - is -supposed to be a four- Sunday exam had been shortened for two days.

In fairness, the limited comprehensiveness of preparation may be partly attributable to the unstable schedule caused primarily by the onslaught of Covid- 19. Still the necessity for better preparation cannot be ignored. There is no substitute for preparedness in order to succeed.

Whatever, the activity will certainly impact on the health and economic situation within the city, with the former on the frontline.

Foremost is the requirement for the Bar examinees to have themselves quarantined for a considerable period of time. That means the business subsector on accommodation should spruce up.

While the city may presumably have enough boarding houses during ordinary days there is a strong possibility that they would not suffice to meet the needs of the Bar candidates who are mandated to isolate themselves. Food may also be a major concern considering that the mobility of the Bar candidates is limited in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Also of major consideration is the need for transport facilities in order that the aspiring lawyers to be do not get infected or be spreaders of the virus. Are private and public transport facilities duly equipped to respond to this brief but important event?

Given that the examination has been postponed to February 2 and 4, 2022 instead of January 23 and 25, 2022, time is on the side of the officials concerned in order to identify what has been overlooked to guarantee a more comprehensive planning.


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