Unvaxxed bar exam takers need to show negative Covid test results

UNVACCINATED law graduates who will take the 2022 Bar Examinations on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, will be required to present a negative RT-PCR test result or a negative antigen test result on the day of the exam and on the subsequent exam dates.

In the case of fully vaccinated examinees, they are required to provide only their Covid-19 vaccination cards upon entering the Bar venue on Nov. 9, 13, 16 and 20, according to the Supreme Court’s (SC) Bar Bulletin 8 issued on Oct. 4, 2022.

For unvaccinated examinees, the SC has required them to present a negative RT-PCR test result or a negative antigen test result just before entering the testing area. The test must be conducted by any Department of Health-accredited testing facility, the cost of which will be shouldered by the examinees, the SC said.

The negative RT-PCR test should be collected within 48 hours before 4 a.m. of the aforementioned exam dates while the antigen test result should be collected within 24 hours before 4 a.m. of the exam dates.

Examinees who test positive for Covid-19 will not be allowed to enter the testing site.

In Cebu, the 2022 Bar examinations will be held in two sites: the University of Cebu (UC) Banilad campus and University of San Carlos (USC) main campus.

For recovered examinees

For examinees who contracted Covid-19 from Oct. 9 to 30, and no longer show any symptoms such as having a body temperature of over 37.5 degrees Celsius, heavy cough and shortness of breath, they may enter the testing site if they can present either a negative RT-PCR test result or a negative antigen test result.

An alternative is to present a certification of the completion of the required isolation and quarantine period issued by the Rural Health Unit, Barangay Health Emergency Response Team, City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit or the Emergency Operations Center, or a hospital where the examinee was admitted.


The SC also strongly urged examinees to undergo self-quarantine starting Oct. 26 or at least two weeks before the Bar exams, and until the last day of the exams.

“Examinees should limit non-essential movement. They are also advised to avoid staying in hotels and dormitories where there may be higher risk of exposure to Covid-19, unless the examinee lives in an area outside the city or municipality where the Local Testing Center is located” the SC said.

The SC also prohibited schools from holding “bar operations” or the gathering of individuals supporting the examinees in hotels where the examinees are staying.

The SC particularly warned law schools and organizations that it may bar an examinee from taking the exam if it is found that their school conducted “bar operations” in the hotel where the examinee is staying.

Cebu examinees

For USC, a maximum of 530 examinees are expected, according to Fr. Generoso R. Rebayla, Jr., vice president for administration.

On the other hand, about 55 candidates from UC are set to take the 2022 Bar examinations, according to UC Law dean Al-Shwaid de Leon on Monday.

De Leon told SunStar Cebu that this is just an approximate number.

“I believe all our examinees have complied with the 14-day quarantine requirement,” he added.

De Leon did not indicate the total number of examinees, including those who graduated from other schools, that would take the test in UC.

University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) College of Law dean Jonathan Capanas said his university has more than 100 exam candidates.

The 2022 Bar exams will proceed on Nov. 9, 13, 16 and 20 as originally scheduled and announced in Bar Bulletin No. 6, s. 2022, according to SC spokesperson Brian Hosaka on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

Police ready

It’s all systems go for the Bar examinations, local police officials said Monday.

Police Brig. Gen. Roderick Augustus Alba, chief of the Police Regional Office (PRO) in Central Visayas, said there will be a rerouting of vehicles on the exam days.

He said the PRO Central Visayas will also provide an augmentation team to the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) to ensure tight security.

“All systems go for Cebu City Police Office and augmentation from other police units to secure the two universities in the city which will serve as venues for the 2022 bar examinations,” said Alba.

Police Lt. Col. Wilbert Parilla, deputy city director for administration of the CCPO, said they will implement on examination days the anti-noise ordinance of Cebu City from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This means no videoke, party or loud sound system will be allowed in areas near the exam venues. Vehicles passing by the venues are also not allowed to honk their horns so as not to distract the examinees.

He said violators will be issued a citation ticket with penalties from the Cebu City Government.

The police called on the public to follow the rules and help aspiring lawyers focus on the exams.

Parilla said they have not received any threat, but the CCPO personnel will be placed on full alert status on examination days.

This is the second time that the Bar exams will be held in Cebu.

The first ever regionalized and digitalized Bar Examinations in the Philippines took place last Feb. 4 and 6, when the 2020-2021 Bar Exams included three venues in Cebu City as testing sites—UC Banilad campus, USC main campus and the USJ-R Basak-Pardo campus.

Before that, the Bar exams were held only in the National Capital Region.

Some 1,200 examinees were estimated to have taken the 2020-2021 Bar exams in Cebu, which was also the first time the Bar exams were conducted since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country in March 2020. (JKV, MKG, AYB / LMY)