SC guidelines for courts in areas where COVID-19 Alert Levels 1 and 2 have been lifted

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By: Tetch Torres-Tupas
2 hours ago

SC issues guidelines to local courts for COVID-19 alert levels 1 and 2

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MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Local courts at COVID-19 Alert Levels 1 and 2 remain physically open with 50-70% of employees on duty.

This is a rule set by the Supreme Court under a circular issued on Monday, aimed at ensuring continuity of operations and guiding courts should such pandemic warnings be raised by states. is.

The circular was signed by the President of the Court, Raul Villanueva.

The circular also stipulates that judges who do not have court space but are already staffed will maintain a minimum workforce of at least 30 percent, according to the Office of Court Administration (OCA).

Saturday work is not permitted, and night courts are not permitted to operate at stations where night courts are organized or required, the circular added.

“While the IATF places certain states under Alert Level 2, it also identifies certain cities or municipalities within them under Alert Level 1, or conflicting alert levels with more restrictive health protocols. When placing regions under the system, such classification will in no way affect compliance with the required court operating guidelines,” the circular similarly states.

For COVID-19 Alert Levels 1 and 2, petitions, motions, and other court submissions may be sent by registered mail by a duly authorized private courier or by email in accordance with previous guidelines. It may be filed or served, the memorandum said.

Read: SC imposes precautions against coronavirus

He stressed that private case reporting and follow-up is permitted, provided that strict health protocols are followed.

The OCA further noted that face-to-face hearings are a priority based on the circular.

All judges, by notifying the OCA, said they were allowed to conduct fully remote videoconference hearings up to three times a week, regardless of location in the country, until April 30. I’m here.

The OCA also said court personnel who do not plan to physically come to work should be considered under work-from-home arrangements.

The Interagency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Disease Control (IATF) has placed 26 states and cities at Alert Level 2 from 16-30 April.

Read: The IATF has raised the COVID-19 alert level for most parts of PH.Some restrictions are in effect

On April 14, the Department of Health (DOH) official, Maria Rosario Bergueil, undersecretary, and the head of the Interior and Local Government, Ben-Hur Avalos, signed a resolution placing 26 areas under alert level 2 for 15 days. .

“These regions have reached the low-risk category for case numbers and utilization, but vaccination coverage is below the target of 70% of the total and population and/or 70% of the A2 population (elderly). ” explained DOH.

“Achieving these goals will allow us to move these areas to Alert Level 1. Also, no state or city will be raised from Alert Level 1 to Alert Level 2 after January 2023.” Added.

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IATF raises COVID-19 alert level for most parts of PH.Some restrictions are in effect

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