MANILA, Philippines—Simultaneous Bar exams should also be held in Visayas and in Mindanao, lawmakers said as they urged the Supreme Court to revise the rules of court.
Cagayan de Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez and his brother Abante Mindanao party-list Representative Maximo Rodriguez filed House Resolution 1023, urging the high court to amend Section 11, Rule 138 (Attorneys and Admission to Bar) of the Rules of Court to allow examinations for bar admission to be held not only in Manila but also in Cebu City and Cagayan de Oro.
“Various law schools in the Visayas and Mindanao have, in recent years, called for the decentralization of the Bar exams and have said exams be held simultaneously in Manila, Visayas and Mindanao,” the solons said in their resolution.
They acknowledged the challenges in holding simultaneous Bar exams, including higher risk of leakages and budget constraints. However, they also said the proposal would benefit many examinees who live far from Manila.
“Many bar takers from outside Manila have additional difficulties in going to Manila and staying there for four weeks. [It] would be more disadvantageous for the examinees from the provinces, not only financially but also emotionally and psychologically,” they said.
Both pointed out that law schools in the Visayas and in Mindanao have been calling for the “decentralization of the bar exams.”
University of Cebu-College of Law Dean Baldomero Estenzo and other law deans from Visayas filed such a petition before the Supreme Court back in 2010.
Last year, the Supreme Court said it is already studying the recommendation of the Office of the Bar Confidant after the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cebu asked that Bar examinations be held outside Metro Manila.