MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday said other factors other than the damages wrought by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng were considered in deciding to continue with this year’s Bar examinations which will commence next week.

In a statement, Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, the chairperson of the 2022 Bar examinations committee, said that among the factors considered was the extent of damage and possible effects of Paeng on all the Local Testing Centers (LTCs) and all the Local Government Units (LGUs) covering said LTCs.

“Importantly, all the LGUs and all the LTCs categorically indicated that they remain prepared and ready to participate in the 2022 Bar Examinations as scheduled,” he said.

Caguioa also said that the Court, in balancing the needs of all the examinees, has considered both those who may have been adversely affected by STS Paeng and are informally requesting its postponement, as well as those who are keen on taking it as scheduled, lest their lives be put on hold for longer.

He said the SC also considered the hundreds of personnel and volunteers “who have rearranged their professional and personal lives in order to serve and contribute to the success of the Bar Examinations this November.”

“Taking all these into consideration, it is the examined position of the Court that the 2022 Bar Examinations on November 9, 13, 16 and 20, 2022 will push through as scheduled,” he said.

Nevertheless, Caguioa said that the SC has deemed it right that “examinees who may be unable to take the Bar exams as scheduled may apply for a refund of their bar fees with the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) through their BAR Plus registered email addresses.”

“At the option of the examinee, the bar fees paid may also be applied to the forthcoming Bar Examinations scheduled in September 2023,” he said. (PNA)