SC issues rules on deployment of skeleton staff
The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday said personnel from areas placed under granular lockdown should not be assigned as skeleton workforce in its offices, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
In Memorandum 87-2021, Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo "reiterated that those who will physically report, on a rotation basis (to SC offices), shall be determined by the respective chiefs of offices/services."
"Their individual health condition will be thoroughly checked upon entering the Court's premises. They must not have even the slightest coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) symptoms. In the event that those assigned to physically report reside in areas placed under granular lockdown or micro-level quarantine, they shall be replaced by those residing in areas with lower alert levels," he added.
On Wednesday, Gesmundo said except for the SC, all lower courts in the National Capital Region (NCR) will remain physically closed to court users indefinitely, despite the government's decision to place the region under Alert Level 4 of the five-tier alert level system with granular lockdowns beginning Thursday.
He said courts in the NCR "shall continue to operate online and conduct videoconferencing hearings on pending cases and all other matters, whether urgent or not, as far as practicable, so as not to delay the trial of cases and court processes".
A previous directive which said the SC will still remain open with a limited workforce stands, Gesmundo said.
The time for filing and service of pleadings and motions during this period remains suspended and shall resume after seven calendar days counted from the first day of the physical reopening of the relevant court, unless otherwise expressly ordered by the relevant court.
Gesmundo added that the policy prohibiting the personal filing of these documents, unless for "exceptionally urgent" matters and only after having been properly communicated and cleared with the proper office, is further extended.
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