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SC: Courts under Alert Levels 1 and 2 to operate with 50% workforce

All courts under Alert Levels 1 and 2 are required to operate under a workforce of at least 50% workforce, the Supreme Court said Monday.

In a circular, the High Court said that courts must maintain a workforce of 50% to 75% from April 25, Tuesday to April 30, Sunday, or until further orders from the Court.

This came after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases placed 26 areas under Alert Level 2 until April 30.

According to the Supreme Court, judges without court space or facilities must maintain a skeleton workforce of at least 30%.

Judges are also allowed to conduct videoconferencing hearings thrice in one week with notice to the Office of the Court administrator.

The Court said pleadings, motions, and other submissions may be filed or served by mail, through private couriers, or by transmitting them through electronic mail.

“In addition, all health and safety protocols against COVID-19 prescribed by the Court and the OCA, as well as those required by the IATF and the Department of Health, shall be complied with whatever is the Alert Level of a particular area,” the Court said.

As of April 21, the Philippines has recorded 4,087,964 COVID-19 cases, of which 4,657 remain active. — Joahna Lei Casilao/RSJ, GMA Integrated News